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We agreed to rent, paid a deposit and have a contract

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  • We agreed to rent, paid a deposit and have a contract

    We agreed to rent, paid a deposit and have a contract on a house and our contract (actually being able to move in) is due to start on the 29th but we got a call today saying the landlord had accepted an offer to buy the house, where do we stand?

    To be more specific about the situation the house had been up for sale as well for a few years, and we were the first people actually dedicated to renting because it had fallen through to rent about three times. Not only that but we had agreed with the landlord to buy the house after 1 year which was perfect for all involved.

    We put a deposit on and we were just getting together the money for the first 6 months upfront which we currently didn't have as we are selling our current house, we wanted somewhere secure whilst we sold this house. But we were literally just hung to call them to say we had got together the money. (i get they're not psychic and couldn't know this toll we called but still...)

    They accepted our money to stop marketing the house.

    Today we get this literally life shattering news by voicemail that the landlord had accepted an offer on the house and they want to just refund our money, we don't know how to proceed.... The house was completely perfect for us, we loved it and there are no other suitable houses in the area.

    We feel that since we have exchanged money maybe we should be treated fairly not like we're just renting and the other person wants to buy which is somehow so much better...

    It seems to us that there is definitely some breach of contract going on here!

    If someone can explain where we stand that would be great.

    I hate estate agents and this stinks of the agent wanting to sell it to someone they know, maybe that's just me being angry at the situation...

  • #2
    Re: We agreed to rent, paid a deposit and have a contract

    I am NOT a legal expert by any stretch of the imagination.

    Have you got anything in writing that proves you "....had agreed with the landlord to buy the house after 1 year...." ?

    If you have, then this may be a dae facto contract of some type.
    If you do have something in writing then you could get a solicitor involved but this is going to cost and it'll not be no-win-no-fee I wouldn't imagine.

    If you were the landlord then you'd agree that selling trumps letting.
    It was for sale and you did know this.

    I wouldn't think that the agent is just "wanting to sell it to someone they know".

    If my agent sells to my tenant then I have to pay them 1.5% of the sale as a "finders fee". It's ridiculous really but it's the contract.

    Doing a very quick calculation it'd actually make more money for the agent to go with you guys as they'd get all the admin and management fees for 1 year and then the same finders fee for selling you the property, as they "know" you too - so IMO you're wrong to suggest the agent is complicit here - they're following the owner's wishes and actually they're losing out on the deal - or they would be if they were my agents on a 1.5% fee for intro to a buyer.

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    • #3
      Re: We agreed to rent, paid a deposit and have a contract

      If you've signed the contract its legally binding unless you both agree to end it prematurely. Landlord should offer compensation in which case or you can stand your ground and if landlord wants to sell will have to do so with you in situe. New owner wouldn't be able to legally remove you until end of fixed period either.

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