£200 credit check?

Found a flat I really liked on here and have been talking back and forth. I was then told I would have to pay a non refundable £200 to a bank account for a credit check and was sent details of the account. All the information I can find on the site says £20 out of the holding deposit, I also found out at this stage I appear to be dealing with an agent and not a landlord. Is this normal?

As I understand it, the £200 is a holding deposit. Only £20 will be used to pay for your referencing and the rest will go towards your full deposit if successful. If your reference fails and you don’t get the place, you’ll get £180 back. Only if YOU pull out will you lose the whole of it. It is to ensure seriousness.

No. This is not the holding deposit. They’ve quite clearly told me it’s non refundable fee and it’s to go to a private bank account not via the site.

Hi @Sally and @Vicki1,

Sally - you’re right, that’s how the site works when the landlord is using Rent Now! In Rent Now, a holding deposit of £200 is sent to us, which we keep safe until you’ve moved in, which protects tenants.

The landlord in Vicki’s case might not be using Rent Now, however. In this case, landlords (or sometimes agents who explicitly managing the advertising process on the behalf of a specific landlord, but always in accordance with our terms) can ask for a holding deposit of whatever size they deem fit (within reason!)

It must be refundable and handled in accordance with our terms, however. E.g. it must be refundable if the tenancy doesn’t go ahead due to no fault of your own.

All the terms are here:

If you feel you are not being treated in accordance with how we demand landlords treat our tenants, please go to the advert on our site and click the ‘report listing’. This will flag it for our team who will investigate within a working day.

Hey Sam, thanks for the reply.

There was no mention of this being a holding deposit. It was referred to as a non refundable £200 fee for a credit check and application. Given the site offers these checks from the holding deposit for £20 and says no hidden fees, this didn’t seem right. So I figured I should ask for clarification on whether this is normal.

I can do the flag thing, however much of this was done via text as they retrieved my number from the site and preferred correspondence that way. So unless there is a way to upload screenshots, the report may not yield much.

Hi Vicki, OK really sorry to hear this and thanks for flagging it here!

Our team can definitely investigate this for you.

Yes, there is a way to upload screenshots! Just click the report button and you’ll see this:

Or if you’d rather email, you can do that, too.

If you send the property reference number and some screenshots of your phone conversation (i.e. where they asked for fees), then we can contact the advertiser to sort this out.

Cases like this are why we recommend keeping communication on the platform, so we can make sure tenants are safe and protected.