Contemplating using OpenRent for our 4 flats.
Ive noticed some of my local estate agents specifically stating that it is important that potential tenants answer the referencing accurately and honestly as they risk losing their holding deposit.
So, how strict is the OpenRent system? - is the Deposit retained if the potential tenant simply leaves a few bits from their reference, is it retained perhaps if a CCJ wasnt disclosed?
From reading about the Holding Deposit on here, it seems like its always returned no matter what.
I obviously dont want to spend time waiting for referencing and to then lose a week or more should that tenant fail and ive lost a weeks rent.
Thanks for you post.
The terms for holding deposits placed via OpenRent are outlined as clearly and plainly as possible here: https://www.openrent.co.uk/terms - see “12 Offer and Acceptance of Holding Deposits”
We specifically cover the scenario where tenants give misleading information in section 12.8 of our Terms.
This says that the tenant is liable to forfeit the holding deposit if they deliberately mislead the landlord.
Per the Tenant Fees Act (TFA) the burden of proof is on the landlord to show that the tenant has mislead them, so for example if you have asked them to disclose any CCJs prior to their application and the referencing uncovers CCJs that they didn’t disclose (and this materially affected the application) this would be grounds for a holding deposit to be forfeit.
There are lots of different ways that holding deposit disputes manifest themselves, thankfully they are rare, but if you find yourself in a dispute with the tenant on this simply contact our team as we are on hand to help resolve the dispute (in line with our terms and the TFA)
It is also worth noting that we offer referencing as a stand alone service, so you can reference a prospective tenant without taking a holding deposit so that the referencing doesn’t interrupt your advertising (if you prefer).
The problem is if you click the Rent Now button, it doesn’t refer to any T&Cs for the Tenant.
In fact, it clearly states they WILL get their holding deposit back if the landlord rejects the application (ie a failed reference).
Place Your Holding Deposit
The holding deposit shows the landlord that you are serious about renting the property. You wont get the deposit back if you change your mind, but you will get it back if the landlord rejects your application. The holding deposit will be credited toward your first month’s rent.
Place Holding Deposit
After accepting your holding deposit, the landlord may request that you get referenced. The landlord will pay for any referencing costs.
None of that clearly informs the potential tenant that they may lose their holding deposit.
As such, I cannot see any benefit in paying to advertise with OpenRent
In addition to Dominic’s reply, you can use OpenRent to advertise your properties without also using our tenancy creation service if you wish.
Tenants do prefer to have their money protected by a third party, but of course thousands of tenancies are created every week where the tenant pays the landlord a holding deposit directly.
The benefit to advertising with OpenRent is that it is the best and most popular way to find tenants and advertise rental property online.
There are benefits to using Rent Now to create your tenancy, too. A big one is that it ensures that the tenancy is created in line with the most recent government guidance and regulations.
But we know some landlords will not wish to use all of our services or have their own systems in place. We’ve designed our advertising service to accommodate this. Hopefully we’ll be able to help if you are searching for tenants in future.