Help: I am concerned about being scammed

Dear all, I am looking for a flat to rent and because I am self employed I find very difficult to be allowed to rent properties that I could easily afford because the agencies always give priority to applicants with full time employment.

IN open rent I see my hope because I can show up as a person with the landlords and leverage on more human characteristics like trustworthiness and direct rapport.

However I am concerned of being scammed. I have been invited to see a flat and the landlord replied with a message containing this phrase " if you interested you can arrange time with me to see and pay deposit "

My question is, … which conditions should be in place before paying a deposit to a landlord? SHould I have them to sign a contract? What is recommandable and usual to do?

What has to be avoided to prevent being scammed?

THanks a lot


I am a landlord. I only take a deposiit when I sign the contract… Get a receipt, take someone with you as a witness to the paying of money by whatever means . Get there early and quietly take a note of his car registration number. If he asks for I D then ask for his and make a note of address. If you want to know who owns the place, check with land registry for a small fee.

1 Like

If you responded to an open rent advert, view first, think about its suitability, then place after the viewing, place a holding deposit using open rent: do not pay landlord directly unless you think you can trust them. Only pay one weeks rent, not more, as the holding deposit, to reserve it for you.

When you are happy with the the contract, that is when you pay the other 3 weeks worth of rent and up to 5 weeks rent, no more, as a Bond or full deposit to cover possible damage while living there.

If after viewing you think it is a scam situation, write to stating why.

1 Like

On re-reading the statement, " if you interested you can arrange time with me to see and pay deposit ", it is possible that the sentence was quickly put together. By the way it is written, the landlord does not speak English as well as a native British person. It may not have been reviewed for possible mis-interpretation. The landlord may have meant to say, " if you ARE interested you can arrange time with me to see THE PLACE and IF YOU LIKE IT pay THE deposit AFTERWARDS, MEANING VIA OPEN RENT ".

No language is perfect, and often things are implied and not stated, as in AFTERWARDS.
So maybe, just maybe, it is not a scam.

Go visit, do not take a deposit with you, and if you like the place, ask if the landlord wants a deposit while you review the contract, after asking your other questions regarding facilities, why the previous tenant has left and when can you move in, etc.

Good luck.

Hi Massimo,

The best way to avoid being scammed is to ask the landlord to place a holding deposit via OpenRent. We have many measures to prevent scam landlords, meaning exceedingly few reach our site. But also, will protect your deposit for you and won’t hand it to the landlord until you move in, at which point it is very unlikely to be a scam.

We have open terms for how the holding deposit is treated that you can find here: