Areas of Law / Landlord and Tenant Law

We paid a £500 deposit to a property management agent to rent an office. £125 of the money was to have a lease drawn up, with the rest being a month’s rent in advance. In the event we decided not to proceed, and didn’t sign the lease. But the agent refuses to return the rent. Can we take them to court for the return of the money?

An agreement for the grant of a lease for a period exceeding three years must be made in writing to be valid. But if the lease term was for less than that you probably won’t be entitled to a refund, assuming the office is still empty. If you enter into a contract and break your side of the bargain the other party is entitled to claim from you any losses they sustain as a result.

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