Applicant refuse to give info for credit check

Hi. Why cant I deduct the £20 credit check fee from a holding deposit?
I have had a potential tenant who I asked plenty of screening question questions before viewing, AND explained the process during the viewing, who has decide after I have submitted the credit check request that he is uncomfortable in submitting his personal data to the referencing questions (through the rent now process)!!!
I explained he will need to give that info for any place he looks at renting, but he has said he would rather now withdraw his application.
This now means I have ANOTHER hit of paying for referencing (I have already paid for a couple who failed the referencing at this property), and my property has not been marketed for a week, and I just have to roll over and give all money back with no questions asked???
I accept the laws are all being changed to protect tenants, but this is just ridiculous that there is no appeal process similar to when a full deposit is returned at the end of a proper tenancy.
Seriously frustrated!!!


Hi Scott,

Sorry to hear this reference hasn’t gone through that smoothly.

Deducting referencing from the holding deposit would be running afoul of the law here, so this isn’t something the platform can accommodate. Here’s a handy blog post on the recent Tenant Fees Act:

It sounds like in this instance that the referencing process never got underway. Referencing is only chargeable when our referencing partners - Rentguard - commence with the application.

It sounds like that this hasn’t happened here with this tenant, so you can cancel the reference for a refund here:

As it also sounds like the Rent Now application isn’t going ahead, you can go ahead and cancel the application and this will immediately re-advertise your property.


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Thanks George, unfortunately the checking has begun, it was only after he was asked for information that he started dragging his feet. So that is ANOTHER £20 down the drain. Great!

Hi Scott,if you look at the terms of the holding deposit you can deduct if they tell you a lie.
I send any prospectives now a list of questions by email that they have to respond to, if they tell a lie and your out of pocket you can deduct. Sounds a mess about but it has served me well, anyone that doesnt want to fill it in is hidingsomethingso you dont want em. Dont be desperate into taking someone who you have a gut feeling is not right, it will cost you later. Hope this is of use.

Pre approval tenancy questionnaire .

Property address.

The rent will be £---- with the deposit of £— on a 12 months minimum AST with a 2 Months notice before end of the initial 12 months contract and upon the tenancy becoming periodic. If you are selected we will require a holding deposit of £ —.

1/Are you interested in renting this property.

2/ When would you be able to occupy the property, having given any notices required ect.

3/ Who will be occupying the property.

4/Current occupations

5/Current salaries ( we need to ensure it is affordable ).

6/Has any of the applicants ever been bankrupt or been subject to an IVA agreement.

7/Has any of the applicants had any CCJ,s.

8/Has any of the applicants had any criminal convictions.

9/Does any of the applicants own a pet

10/Do you currently rent, and if so, where

11/How long have you lived in your current home

12/Reason for leaving

13/Has any of the applicants been evicted from a tenancy or left owing money.

14/Do all of the applicants agree to be referenced through a credit agency and agree to be helpful in providing the agency with the information they require.

1st Applicants name and signature Date e mail mobile

2nd Applicants name and signature Date e mail mobile


Further to the above Scott

There are some exceptions. In these cases the landlord can keep the holding deposits:

  • The tenant withdraws
  • The tenant doesn’t take all reasonable steps to enter the tenancy
  • The tenant fails a right to rent check
  • The tenant provides misleading information which materially affects their suitability to rent the property

Thanks Leslie1, some great info there.

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I had similar experiences and also a situation where the tenant failed referencing because they lied about the income and when I reviewed the guarantors income they will struggle to make the payment on 2 properties if they need to, so I had to reject the application. So I lost £40

The issue here is that Openrent should make it clear to the applicant the conditions that would allow for the referencing fee to be deducted from the holding deposit, as well as keep the holding deposit.
There are provisions for it in the law. If you k knowingly vive false information about affordability or being a benefit claimant when the advert had clearly stipulated all the prerequisites, then the cost of referencing should be deducted from the holding deposit.

Further changes that could be made by Openrent is to not take the property off the market until contract has been signed by all parties.


Great comments Biggs. I agree 100%.

So the question is, OpenRent, are you going to protect your Landlords in this way???

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The whole situation since the tenant fee ban is ridiculous leaving landlords exposed to multiple fees for tenants who may never be suitable. Which will get reflected in higher rents as landlords have to factor this in now (the potential losses). For me I don’t understand why there can’t be a system where tenants can sign up voluntarily with a company like Rentguard and get a license to rent. They produce this when looking and I would imagine in most situations it would lead to a lot less time wasting on all sides. The only people I see who win with the current situation are the referencing companies as they will be getting multiple applications all over the place as it costs the tenant nothing. Rightmove I believe already have this product available. I don’t know why it isn’t been promoted harder unless there have been some problems with it?

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OpenRent is worst for credit check me and my wife recently failed credit check :slight_smile: we both av excellent credit history, both working for last 8 years no criminal history, they only fAiled us bcoz our old agency charge £15 for references and they want us to pay that amount which we rejected and they failed us but landlord is smart and he let us av property, i went to view other property and landlord said 9 tenants failed reference now i know why, anyway if ur smart do credit check by ur self its easy now a days and everything is ur fingers one click and all done u can check by ur self instead of paying these agencys

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I am a landlord in Spain, and a tenant here. We like openrent because it links up directly to landlords and avoid abusive agencies.

Also, because it finds a fair balance of rights for tenants and landlords.

I am surprised to read this thread pushing openrent to something abusive on tenants.

I understand landlords and tenants feelings and fears. You don’t seem to understand that tenants also spend a lot with credit checks, inventory fees and so on (which in most countries is paid by landlords), and how abusive the system is for tenants specially in London.

I have nothing no hide, and I have never missed a payment. But I understand how invasive some credit checks are.


Hi Scott.

I detect some desperation in your tone and it is also clear from the undercurrent that you dont understand business in general, you almost sound like an entitled brat from a poor background who has managed to buy his or his parents ex Council house and now that you are a landlord you suddenly feel as though you have made it to the other side and now its YOUR turn to be the big landlord you expect everything on a sliver platter with a butler to boot.

Listen, Scott, in business if some one wants to buy your product, in this case the rent of an ex-council house and you choose to credit check them thats on you.

The fact you dont get this shows what a huge cap in knowledge you have about not only this, but with matters in general. I wish you well and I hope you get the tenants you deserve. I really do :wink:

Scott4. this is one of the expenses of a landlord. It is tax deductable. You can, like any cost ,factor it into the rent per month…ask all the questions first before you spend on a credit check The dodgey ones wont reply or will give answers you dont like.


There is more to this than you are letting on,I have never had any problems referencing through open rent.


I’m not sure if your aware of the tenant fee ban, but since June this year landlords have had to pay for referencing. If you have been charged for referencing since June you need to seek legal advice.

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Usually when you do credit check with other companies you are then able to take out rent guarantee insurance with them.This costs around £100,well worth it forpeace of mind. Covers for all those horror stories you hear of and see on theTV


@Leslie1dear Leslie, I was wondering if you gave any more advice on rent guarantee? I have a lady who hs 3 children and she is on benefit, with her husband working in a pizza shop, I am a bit worried if he may lose his job due to all the new lockdowns etc. Will rent guarantee pay for the rent until he finds a new job? I am sorry for being silly, I asked a company and they said that all rent guarantee only pays 4 months max. Thank you for you all your help.

Hi Scott,

If you can’t take a hit like that maybe the property game, in this respect, isn’t for you. Maybe consider selling as you’ll have allot more than ‘£20’ to spend then.


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