Can you place holding deposit on another property if you've viewed one and are in the process of being referenced on another?

I’ve viewed a property the other night, placed holding deposit, however a house on here has now become available and I’d rather the house than the flat. Is this allowed and does the process restart ie. Resend all the same information sent two days Ago for referencing?

Do you realise you gave a holding deposit to hold , now you dont want it . the landlord can keep the holding deposit.

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Yes I get that and I’d be prepared to forfeit that as only fair. It’s a question, I haven’t held two, I’m asking if that is possible?

one of Openrent team will no doubt contact you when the office opens tomorrow

Thank you for your help

Hi Robert, yep you can place a holding deposit for more than one property at a time.

It’s not exactly recommended, however. As Colin says, pulling out of the one property after placing the holding deposit all but assures that you will lose the money to the landlord as forfeit.

It is also breaking an agreement with the landlord. After your holding deposit is placed, the landlord takes the property off the market in order to proceed with your application. So it’s best to act as quickly as possible so that that first landlord can get their property back on the market and they can continue their search for tenants.

Hope that helps and best of luck with finding your new home,

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… not necessarily ‘off the market’ as in no longer listed, Sam. I used to do that because it was the obvious approach and subsequent non-starter applicants who failed referencing effectively kept my properties off-line for, perhaps a week at a time.

It is perfectly in order to keep property as ‘live’ so long as listings then clearly state that a holding* or ‘reserve’ fee has now been taken and that, while new enquirer’s can register their interest, viewings are ‘not currently permitted pending result of current applicant references.’ To take that a stage further, there is no reason in law why viewings could not still be facilitated, actually, pending the result of the current references in, of which there may also be more than one interested party.

The crucial issue here is that you are transparent (honest) in your listing/s -take a screenshot once you have done this- and also that you have a signature that the active applicants understand and agree to those terms. No one will acquire the property ahead of them if you are happy with their references. (Your decision entirely, however: not some referencing agency who are employed to ‘advise’ not decide.)

You should certainly reassure them -in writing and, most sensibly, as part of the terms contained within their receipt- that, having paid a holding fee, they retain first refusal pending conclusion of referencing enquiries, which should be time-limited. To reiterate, get a signature agreeing to the terms by which you accept and they pay a holding fee.

This approach facilitates ongoing enquiries pending referencing and greatly mitigates the risk of otherwise quite unnecessary downtime. I ended up feeling held hostage to events until I toughened up in this regard.

  • Holding or Reserve ‘fee’ is perhaps the wisest terminology since the more commonly used ‘holding deposit’ can so easily get confused with the ‘deposit’ that needs lodging. This can cause issues, especially with applicants and new landlords. Respectfully put, steer away from ever using the word ’ deposit’ unless you really mean it !

Good luck out there !

Peter B
Member NLA

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Peter. That would be great if I could still market my rental, with ofcourse letting any prospective tenant’s know that there is a reserve on my property, but, I believe that once that ‘button’ is pushed to pay the holding deposit, that OpenRent automatically remove my listing from all portals. Do let me know if this is not the case and if so what I have to do to stop OpenRent removing my advert from the portals?

That is the constraint of having your ‘holding fee’ paid via Open Rent. I use them purely as a portal for receiving enquiries. All transactions such as holding fee and tenancy agreement are managed between us without intervention by Open Rent.

I issue a receipt on accepting a holding fee which sets out terms, including circumstances of both return and non return. I will send you a copy of this if you wish. They read and agree to this - with signatures - before I take any monies. It is strictly time
limited to facilitate referencing enquiries but not being messed about e.g. by tenants dragging their heels over required documents submission.

All agreed between all parties. The way I do it is an excellent forerunner for how they may behave in a tenancy since it is like a, 'mini-contract, in effect. Its an early clue that they show potential to be responsible (viable) or a damned nuisance. (trouble

Such intervention from Open Rent in regard to the holding fee manifestly constrains you, both in the terms you describe and the amount you can take. Always take the. maximum, now capped at 5 weeks.

Hi Monica,

No, this is not the case.

Once a tenant presses Rent Now, you will receive a message asking whether you want to accept their application. The property will not be taken offline unless you confirm that you do. If you don’t want to, you can reject their application with one click or by replying to the text we send you.

Full info here in this in-depth guide.

That’s a great practice, Peter. It would be great if all landlords did this! We have our own holding deposit terms, too. All users can see them at any time in our terms. I agree - it’s important tenants know how their HD will be treated in advance of paying it.

The maximum you can take in England is one week’s rent, not five. That has been the case since 1st June 2019, when the Tenant Fees Act came into force in England. A similar law is soon to begin in Wales. Holding deposits are entirely illegal in Scotland and have been for years.

Charging a prohibited fee, such as a holding deposit larger than one week’s rent, risks a fine of £5,000.

Our holding deposit rules are kept up to date with new legislation automatically and ensure that all landlords who use Rent Now remain compliant with the law.

I do beg your pardon and you are quite right, of course. Cross wired with the deposit which is 5 weeks (isn’t it?!)
This is, perhaps, why I refer to a holding ‘fee’ as such rather than a holding deposit which can then so easily get confused.
Lame excuse in my case, however.

Yeah that’s right — five weeks’ rent for the tenancy deposit.

Yes it could be confusing calling them both a deposit. I think it would be more confusing to call the holding deposit a fee, since it does not pay for anything. It is money held according to agreed terms and is required to be refunded unless forfeited. Plus tenants know that ‘fees’ (as loosely construed) are now banned by the Tenant Fees Act. So calling it a fee could cause suspicion among tenants.

Oh dear, yes that too is a fair point.

Maybe ‘Reserve monies?’ Beyond that, I give up!