Misled by new applicants

Prospective tenants claimed via initial screening that they weren’t students they looked ideal. So accepted their holding deposit and took the property off the market. Then I paid to have them referenced and it comes back that they are on student visas.

I feel misled its so frustrating as what happens with the holding deposit because Openrent haven’t escalated the matter and I cannot put the property back on the market because the default is return the holding deposit even although I opened a claim three days ago.

I always found Openrent good until now which is disappointing. How can they pass referencing when they initially claimed they weren’t students but have student visas?

whether student or not are they actually student though? because some of them may be PSW which is a post study working visa.

Also, isn’t it as simple as returning the holding deposit to them when you cancel the agreement?

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Thanks. The point is that I would not have progressed with them and wasted money on referencing if they had been honest in the first place. The initial screening seems a waste of time if the referencing company don’t use the information provided. I’ve used Openrent for years and have never been misled like this by any prospective tenants. What is the point of the holding deposit for the landlord?

I think I’ll move to another provider as I cannot put the property back on the market here.

Thanks, you helped me come to that decision.

Do you ask them to complete an application form before referencing? If not, then you should. If they lie in writing on a signed form then youd be entitled to keep the holding deposit.


Hi David,

Thanks for your response. Yes, I have their initial application in writing. They clearly stated that they weren’t students.

As a landlord, I always try to be fair and honest. I had a couple of offers but went with them because they were first to offer by about 30 mins. I’ve had many tenants, but none have ever provided incorrect information. Some have had issues, and I’ve tried my best to help them.

I have sent the evidence to Openrent. It’s now supposed to be with an adjudicator, but I cant put the place back on the market until they decide what to do with the holding deposit, which is so frustrating and time-wasting.

Best regards


I don’t think you got a choice here, at most you are wasting 20 pounds each and tax deduction meaning you won’t be spending that much. Is it really worth the hussle? also does your reference say that study at xxx uni?


Prospective tenants lie all the time. Recently I had one say they had no outstanding ccj’s when asked directly. Their guarantor also told blatant lies. When referenced, guess what?


All fair points, I suppose the more of them that get away with misleading prospective landlords, the more we will all have to waste on referencing. The lazy reference company doesn’t even validate the original data provided.

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If you ask the tenants to cancel the application on their side, you should be able to keep some of the holding deposit? I had a similar situation a couple of years ago when a prospective tenant changed their mind after placing the holding deposit on Openrent. While they didn’t lie, they wasted weeks of my time plus the referencing costs. I managed to keep a portion of their holding deposit. It was fairly straightforward but this was a while ago and the process may have changed since. It’s worth asking those prospective tenants to cancel the application on their side.

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Use open rent only for advertising, keep the money in your own hands if you want control.


I have found the tenant have lied to the references
companies. I had a tenant who lied about the
employment and caused problems. I checked online and I found out that not working, the company was dormant,
student from his own video
The tenant has left and I got the property and found the hood tenant.

I do rent to students and from my own personal experience they were honest and parents were guarantor.

I prefer the tenant to be honest and tell the truth and
instead giving false misleading information to gain the
rental property.

Where did you get applications form from?

I also renting bedsits in HMO also only use agency for advertising,it is risky though can have them out relatively easily they are licensees as I live in the property I sympathise with landlords who are in shorthold tenancy situation. So many landlords getting out since tax changes make it less attrctive. used to have one or two offers to buy my property a year now its a couple a month. Will be in my property for life I guess given capital gains situation having had the house several decades!

I’d just reject them and cut my losses, so I can get it relet. If you can get them to click the cancel button then of course you get to keep the holding deposit but I wouldn’t hang around for that.

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Dave7 and david 99 are spot on, its nice to see new people commenting. Just be thankful you identified your concerns and write it off.
Sadly landlords are an endangered species today, facing heavy legislation and laws so imbalanced towards the tenants favour. Landlords sell up and rental rates go up, thats successive goverments meddling in a system that used to work reasonably well

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Got the application form from NRLA.

I don’t understand this. Just because they are on student visas does not mean they are students. About 2 years ago, our leader Boris in all his wisdom decided to reopen the scheme whereby ALL foreign students at UK universities can stay on for 2 years to find a job (yes, it seems we have enough jobs for the world). They have to change the student visa to “graduate visa” but this can take six months. So maybe that is the situation they were in.

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Can i ask where the property is? And what size the property is please?

…that’s why always vet the tenants using a reputable company and wait the report before commit and hold deposit.
This is my personal experience. I stop using agency many years ago, they simply dont care because is not their property and you will pay all the consequences of their mistakes, so no point using them.


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