Holding Deposit placed in Landlord Bank account

Hello I was recommended by someone to check out OpenRent after being given a section21 ‘no fault’ eviction by my landlord who I have happily rented from for 8+ years.

I saw a property on OpenRent and viewed it, and i messaged the landlord multiple times via Open Rent.

A few days later I was asked to deposit £150 directly in the landlords account (not via Open Rent), the landlord asked for my email address to make this request of me paying the £150.

Is this normal?? I believe now that all transactions are meant to go through Open Rent yes?

The landlord is now trying to tell me that I cannot afford the property even though I clearly can (and i just had a pay raise).

I feel i’m being forced out even though I fully want to rent the property. It’s like a forced ‘forfeit’ out of my control.

I’m worried i will lose my £150 fee and I cannot afford to lose that amount when urgently needing to find somewhere due to a section21.

Help please.

Did you pay the £150 into his account?

Hello there. Yes I did pay the deposit into the landlords bank account, i thought that was standard procedure at the time, but i have since read all transactions should go through Open Rent website.

that is a tough one . Trying to get your money back will be tricky .Never trust such messages

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They have a letting agency website and multiple properties. Looks completely legit.

Should i forward their info to Open Rent (privately) so they are aware?

I have copies of message asking for my email. And emails requesting the money to be exchanged.

A lot of landlords who use openrent for advertising do contracts/deposits themselves so it is not unusual. Openrent recommend doing it via themselves but its not mandatory.

You are entitled to a return of holding deposit unless you were at fault, eg you changed your mind, provided false info or took too long to provide references. If the landlord has just decided he doesn’t want to proceed he needs to refund you. Give him a chance to do this but if he doesn’t contact openrent.


do as richard says You may be ok

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Another vote for Richard’s response here.

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Thank you Richard thans good to know.
I provided all correct information and all references were sent very quickly too.

I’m hoping this gets resolved soon as it’s very very stressful for me. Hopefully all will be ok.


It’s quite normal for transactions to happen outside of openrent.

Provided you didn’t provide false info before the referencing you are entitled to refund. (Excluding change of mind from you).


I would recommend that in future you obtain proof of ownership/consent to let prior to paying anyone any money, but I agree that its perfectly normal for a landlord to ask for payment to their account.

So I’m deducing you did not pass the referencing? If that’s the case, do you have evidence? If you gave him everything up front he’s got no case to keep your money but if he found out adverse information failing you for referencing, he’s entitled to keep it I think.

I had no idea LL ask for deposit outside OR. I always go through OR but I can see why it’s a good idea for LL to get direct

If a landlord gets 50 applicants and requests £150 holding deposit from each one then that’s a more lucrative business in itself!. I would have thought it would need to be under a very strict criteria that a LL would allowed to just obtain and keep the holding deposit such as lied on the application as I can’t see any tenant giving a contact for references if they were going to give him a bad one.

You would thinks so however, I can confirm that I have been contacted by both my local council and now a local housing association requesting a landlord reference for my tenant who has rent arrears that he refuses to accept or make any effort to pay. He has also refused to allow property inspections. Yet he thinks I will give him a good reference just beggars belief


Really?!! That’s a joke and he’s obviously delusional. However these people do walk amongst .

Its illegal to take a holding deposit from more than 1 applicant at any one time.

Through Open Rent you can only accept ONE deposit. Abd you can not continue showing the fiat after that. I have never taken more than one deposit that’s what a deposit is to hold the fiat fir that one person. I’ve had someone pay a deposit before & refuse to give any personal details of employment saying it was top secret! It took ages for me to get rid of them through open rent!!£ I lost 4 weeks of showing the fiat to other people!! It’s disgusting what sone prospective tenants will do!! A holding deposit is just that meaning the LL is holding it fir you & wont offer it ti anyone else!

Get the facts straight. If this LL is a scammer then he/she is a scammer & has nothing to do with policy/law

Hi David.
I thought it would be but if a LL emails them privately requesting this how would the potential tenant know how many other applicants have been asked to pay too? In this day and age of scammers I wouldn’t be surprised if someone somewhere isn’t doing this.