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Can't get refundable deposit back

Hi Guys. Three months ago I placed a refundable deposit of €5,000.00 on a house with an estate agent. I changed my mind on purchasing the property and the agent said that I would have to deal with the developer’s solicitor and he does not know how long it would take to do so. Is this correct procedure or should the agent be able to get it back? Thanks.

This all depends on how the deposit was taken by the auctioneer and this should be clear from the receipt.   If the receipt says that the auctioneer is to hold the money as “stakeholder” and that the payment was made subject to contract and subject to loan approval then this listener is entitled to his or her money back from the auctioneer.

If on the other hand it is silent on the subject of stakeholder then there would be a legal presumption that it was received by the auctioneer as the legal agent of the builder and as such would be obliged when called on by the builder to pay it over to the building company.

If this is the case you have no alternative but to sue for the return and given the current economic climate it might take some time.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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