Holding deposit: are landlords liable?

Hi all,

I have just had an offer to rent rejected by a landlord after paying the holding deposit and having positive references. The whole process has been extremely long and the landlord in the end decided to sell the property instead of letting. I have been reimbursed the deposit as a result.

However, in order to get to this point I have had to give notice to vacate the property I am currently renting and now I am in the situation of having to find another (we are a family with two children) in only a few weeks.

I find the behaviour of the landlord very difficult to accept and I was wondering if anyone knows if there is basis for requesting a compensation.


Although this is not the outcome you wanted, a contract has not been entered into and you will receive your holding deposit back. Sometimes things happen beyond anyone’s control and the Landlord may have been forced to sell, who knows. I know this doesn’t help you but I do hope you get sorted with somewhere quickly

Thanks for the message. The reason in this case is that the landlord finally heard from buyers whom he had been negotiating for months and had gone silent. We waited for days for a reply.
In my opinion this property should have never been in the letting market. I feel we have been used and this type of behaviour should not be allowed in Openrent. Accepting the holding deposit has consequences for the aspiring tenants since we could have never obtained the references from our current landlord without giving notice.

Life is a bitch sometimes. Ask if you can stay at the place you are leaving until you find a place, and offer to pay a pro-rata amount, but not as a tenant, but as a lodger. You won’t have any protection by law, but it will take some time before the contract for the sale is signed, so if the landlord is accommodating you should be able to stay from weeks to months, in which time you might find an alternative place to rent. Hopefully, your old landlord has not found your replacement yet, so it may not be too late to ask.