I am writing to you asking for your advice once you could be aware of cases like this one and would like to hear what happened.
My husband and I let a flat in London and our offer was accepted according to the letting agency. We have all documents proving this and they made us pay for 1 month rent in advance plus 6 weeks deposit straightway (and also their fees).
Our tenancy would start last week, therefore I collected the keys at the agency on the move-in date and went to the flat. When I got to the flat (with the keys the agency provided), there was a cleaning professional in there and she stated that other tenants have moved 1 day ago. I was in shock and started to feel unwell due to this situation and she then called the agency she worked for and they told me (via phone) that the flat was rented to a different tenant via their agency and that the landlord never accepted our offer.
My husband and I then went to our letting agency and they told us this was not their fault and that the landlord accepted our offer. They also told us that due to the fact the other tenants were already living there, that it would take too much time to remove them from the flat and that we needed to look for a different flat. At this time they told us the only compensation that they could provide us was not to pay the agency fees for the new flat (in case we find the flat via their agency).
I have now a copy of the email that our agency sent to the landlord saying that they have found the tenants for the flat and if the landlord did not respond the email by the following day, they would assume he accepted the offer and would proceed with the letting. Please note this email was sent the following day they made us pay everything and sent us emails saying the offer was accepted. A second email was sent on the following day saying that once they did not hear from the landlord, they have signed the contract on the landlord´s behalf.
As you may understand this is an outrageous situation. This letting agency took our money, lied to us saying the landlord agreed with our conditions when apparently they never spoke to him and he did not respond to the emails, put us in a very stressful situation (we could have no place to go on that day), took us on a second round viewing showing us properties over the budget we asked for, leaving us in very stressed state, told us the only compensation would be not paying the agency fees if we let the flat via them, made me loose time at work and money in order to look for a different place not to mention the stress that my husband and I went through these days.
We believe we are entitled to a financial compensation. We have several documents to prove this situation and therefore we would like to hear your opinion on this matter, especially if you are aware of a situation like this one.