Deposit when lease cancelled due to breach by owner

Bizgal007

New Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
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2
I signed a lease agreement for a property I was supposed to occupy on 1 October 2017. After paying deposit landlord says due to personal reason they cannot grant occupation on that date. We discussed possibilities of moving occupation to 1 November but did not amend the lease to this effect.

On 29 September 2017 I sent landlord notification to cancel lease for 1 October 2017 since occupation will not be granted and informed them I am not interested in entering a new lease from 1 November 2017. Landlord says they will not refund deposit paid until replacement tenant is found and if none found I will be liable for rent from November until one found. Their argument is that we had a verbal agreement for 1 November 2017. Can they do This?

Because I could not afford to lose my deposit and don't have money to pay second deposit elsewhere I then said to the landlord if that is the case can we go ahead and sign a new lease for 1 November 2017. Landlord refused this but will still not refund me until replacement found. Can they do this?

Landlord will soon be traveling out of the country for unspecified period. I am worried I will not get my money back
 
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Bryn

Doubleplusgood
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Oct 29, 2010
Messages
16,553
I signed a lease agreement for a property I was supposed to occupy on 1 October 2017. After paying deposit landlord says due to personal reason they cannot grant occupation on that date. We discussed possibilities of moving occupation to 1 November but did not amend the lease to this effect.

On 29 September 2017 I sent landlord notification to cancel lease for 1 October 2017 since occupation will not be granted and informed them I am not interested in entering a new lease from 1 November 2017. Landlord says they will not refund deposit paid until replacement tenant is found and if none found I will be liable for rent from November until one found. Their argument is that we had a verbal agreement for 1 November 2017. Can they do This?

Because I could not afford to lose my deposit and don't have money to pay second deposit elsewhere I then said to the landlord if that is the case can we go ahead and sign a new lease for 1 November 2017. Landlord refused this but will still not refund me until replacement found. Can they do this?

Landlord will soon be traveling out of the country for unspecified period. I am worried I will not get my money back

Don't overcomplicate the matter. The landlord normally has 7 days to return the deposit with interest, so tell the person that this is what's going to happen unless they'd like to go to Small Claims.
 

crackersa

Honorary Master
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
29,028
Don't overcomplicate the matter. The landlord normally has 7 days to return the deposit with interest, so tell the person that this is what's going to happen unless they'd like to go to Small Claims.
You go to rental tribune.
 

Seriously

Honorary Master
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
16,596
Maybe get interdict to prevent him leaving until refund paid in full..
 

killerbyte

Expert Member
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
2,760
And this is why you use estate agents.

I know people hate them but when it comes to renting a good estate agent follows a set of rules.
The most important one is that the deposit is held in a trust account and not given over to the owner.

Sorry that you are in this situation.
 

Bizgal007

New Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
2
Thanks for the prompt response everyone! How do I go about getting this interdict?
 

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
43,950
Thanks for the prompt response everyone! How do I go about getting this interdict?

Start by telling him you will be reporting to Rental Tribune and getting an interdict unless he pays your deposit by C.O.B today.

Then bargain on him folding.
 

infscrtyrisk

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2014
Messages
1,296
I signed a lease agreement for a property I was supposed to occupy on 1 October 2017. After paying deposit landlord says due to personal reason they cannot grant occupation on that date. We discussed possibilities of moving occupation to 1 November but did not amend the lease to this effect.

On 29 September 2017 I sent landlord notification to cancel lease for 1 October 2017 since occupation will not be granted and informed them I am not interested in entering a new lease from 1 November 2017. Landlord says they will not refund deposit paid until replacement tenant is found and if none found I will be liable for rent from November until one found. Their argument is that we had a verbal agreement for 1 November 2017. Can they do This?

Because I could not afford to lose my deposit and don't have money to pay second deposit elsewhere I then said to the landlord if that is the case can we go ahead and sign a new lease for 1 November 2017. Landlord refused this but will still not refund me until replacement found. Can they do this?

Landlord will soon be traveling out of the country for unspecified period. I am worried I will not get my money back

I do not understand this. What exactly was the agreed date of occupation, and why was it not written in the contract? And why part with a deposit when something as important as an occupation date is not final?

Discussing possibilities of moving in on a particular date, and actually agreeing on a date are two different things. Was there mutual agreement or not, because you don't sound very sure about this.

An interdict? Surely the deposit is worth far less than the costs of an interdict?
 
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