Damage Deposit return

I have paid a deposit to the agent and passed all referencing checks. I now have to withdraw from the rental 1 month before the tenancy starts. The agent is refusing to refund the deposit saying it is forfeited if a prospective tenant withdraws. I also paid a £200 referencing fee which I can accept is non returnable. what are my legal rights?

Hi David,

Sorry to hear the tenancy isn’t going ahead.

Assuming this relates to a Rent Now application, here’s some guidance on what happens with the £200 holding deposit:

Tenants only pay £20 per reference when using us, so please let us know if this wasn’t the case by dropping us an email: https://www.openrent.co.uk/faq#i-have-more-questions

Any questions, let me know.


Unless you have seen and agreed in writing to this agent’s forfeit clause, or ticked a box agreeing to terms and conditions which you would be deemed to have read and understood, you should be entitled to a full refund. You should contact Citizens Advice Bureau for further guidance.