Keeping a holding deposit when the tenants change their mind

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Susan Smalley
30 Posts
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I had two promising enquiries about a property, which I have been advertising privately. Both couples A & B seemed very keen. After several emails explaining all aspects of the property, dates available, deposit & refs required etc, I showed them both round on the same day. Both wanted it & both meet all my requirements.
I gave it to couple 'A' who came round again that same evening, paiding a 200 holding deposit in cash. I gave them a written receipt and we agreed dates etc. I emphasised that I would be telling couple B that it was now taken, which I duly did.
12 hours later, I got an apologetic emails saying they could no longer take it ( no explanation).
I immediately rung couple B who had moments earlier taken another property.
There are no new enquiries and we are due to take a holiday in a few days, delaying more viewings.
Can I legally keep the 200. which I would happily return if another tenant was forthcoming? I verbally emphasised it was a firm commitment, but didn't actually state on the receipt that it was non-refundable.
Thanks Susan
05/11/2015 14:52

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