actually i wldn't jump on the agent immediately. for benefit of the doubt.
in hk, most landlords when they want to sell or rent flats, they'd go thru tonnes of agents. i.e. non-exclusive. this way they get more exposure to the market.
my landlord duplicated 27 keys and pass it to all the agencies to hlp him source for a tenant.
so it cld be another agnet bringing a diff client in and rob your flat away.
hence the TA is quite impt.
for me my agent is a nice old man that can't really speak english well (we have to comm thru english though). but he got everythign done for me and got me a decent deal. now i'm putting him to help me set up the gas accounts and stuffs. he even hold one of my key in case i need someone to be at home to take the deliveries.
tehcnically, if the landlord has collected your money, u have some grounds to pursue compensation. but don't count on having your flat. find another one.
u can take your time and force the agent to help u pursue the money + compensation back.
anyway not pertaining to u, but i always think that if one tries to negotiate and cut too fine a deal, there's always the potential the counterparty will walk out and u end up being the loser.