OpenRent changes in deposit protection

Have just noticed that OpenRent changed their deposit protection process.

Before: OpenRent would send the tenancy deposit to the landlord’s mydeposits account. If an account did not exist, they would create a custodial private landlord account for the landlord.

Current: OpenRent keeps the deposit in their own mydeposits account. Managing the deposit is now done through OpenRent, to which you’ll send queries.

The reasoning seems to be that they are trying to streamline the process, to manage all aspects of the tenancy through OpenRent. To me it feels like unnecessary indirection. There are now two parties that instructions have to go through which complicates the process even though that messy bit is hidden through an interface.

For landlords who use OpenRent’s Rent Now service which collects the deposit, how do you feel about this change?

How many of you don’t use Rent Now and instead collect first month’s rent, deposit, and do the contract signing yourself?

Not sure why they would change. I was quite happy with the old process. Have a property on the market at the moment, so will see how it works before making my decision.

another reason why I only ever used Rent Now once. I want to be able to select the deposit scheme I use, not be forced to use My Deposits which, quite frankly, I found to be a lot less straightforward than TDS which is my scheme of choice. Sounds like it just got even less straightforward.

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I only use openrent for advertising, I do all other aspects myself, as, well nobody will look after my interests as well as what I do!

Tenant pays deposit direct to my bank account, I then register it with TDS insured scheme.

I’d be interested to know where you found this?

The tenancy I have just completed, now shows this information on the Openrent tenancy information. I’d confirm the deposit is not registered on my mydeposit login as it was previously.

Tenancy Deposit

We have protected the deposit for this tenancy in OpenRent’s account with mydeposits.

Deposit Repayment Information

If you want to return funds to the tenant or make a claim on the deposit at the end of the tenancy, you can start the repayment process here:

If your tenancy is ending and you would like to claim any funds from the deposit, please email [email address shows, but it wont let me post it here], including the following information:

  • Property Reference Number (#######)
  • Amount you wish to claim
  • Detail of claim
  • Evidence

We will then notify any tenants and let you know if we require any further information to process your claim

That puts me off using Rent Now. I want the deposits in my account where I can see them.

I only discovered this following a new tenancy via Rentnow. Having recived the first months rent, I thought that it was taking a while for the deposit to be added to my MyDeposits account as had happened previously.
Whilst I appreciate other Landlords may have a differing view, I have always found the RentNow service works well, however, on the next occasion I have to find tenants, I may review the use.
My concern is not so much the registering of the deposit at the beginning of the tenancy but the release and any potential dispute at the end. Having to deal via Openrent adds an unnecessary level of complexity; I would rather deal directly with any dispute service.

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I noticed that also in March this year when I used Openrent. I think it’s a silly move.

I will not fall for that trick anymore if and when there is a change in tenancy in my properties in the future.

I certainly would prefer to deal with TDS directly than deal with openrent. It’s not very clear the level of mediation they will be providing when matters come to a head between LL and tenant.

If I ever have to use openrent contract, I would insert a clause in the rent agreement which states the deposit WILL be registered with TDS and that my clause supersede any other arrangement in the contract

Alternative , I will avoid the rent now package altogether and advertise only. I handle every other aspect manually.

I emailed questions to openrent as follows;

I’m concerned by the change is deposit protection, with your website providing little additional information to re-assure me. I’m also dissapointed that this change was not made more obvious to Landlord who had used you before… Ie an email… just letting you know the way we do this is changing!

Previously, the deposit was under my control, through my mydeposit portal. Now it appears to be under Openrents control.

What protections are Openrent providing to me. ie;

Is the money still deposited with mydeposits custodian scheme, or held by openrent themselves under an insured scheme?

When I ask Openrent for a refund by email, as suggested is the procedutre, what is your ‘service standard’ for speed of reply / processing?

What happens if Openrent go out of business. How do I as landlord get back control of the the deposit? What protections have been put in place for this scenario?

If I require a dedution from the deposit, how will Openrent deal with this process, and at what stage would this be referred back to mydeposits?

They replied;

Thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear of any confusion with this.

Whilst we understand your previous tenancies have used mydeposits custodial scheme, we have now updated the deposit protection we use for our Rent Now service.

Deposits are now protected in OpenRent’s account with mydeposits as is outlined in the contract that has been signed by all parties. The deposit will be held securely in our client money account under protection from mydeposits.

At the end of the tenancy, you will be able to use your dashboard to return the funds to the tenant or claim any deductions. There’s no action required from your side at this stage, and all the details will be available under your OpenRent account when you need them at the end of the tenancy.

If you have any feedback on this please do let us know.

I must admit, I’m not overly confortable with this. The only reason I can see for why they have done this, is to profit from the ‘interest’ earnt whilst these funds are held in their client money account. I feel it dilutes my control.

you should also raise the issue of the interest earned on the deposit and that is due to the tenant. Ask them what the interest rate is.

Yeah it’s a silly move from open rent. I hope everyone stops using the rent now option. Advertise only and sort out all the paper work yourself.

I have used the rent now option multiple times in the past. While is convenient in the sense that it sorts out all the paper work, I find the new deposit protection as a deal breaker for me.

My future tenancies , I will sort out all the paper work myself. Can always strip apart tenancy contracts generated from open rent for tenants etc