Payment requested outside of OpenRent

Hi there, I have had an offer verbally accepted but they don’t want me to make the holding deposit via OpenRent. They state that they are a private property company using OpenRent for marketing purposes only and all payments go to them directly. Any advice on what to do here please, naturally makes me feel a little uneasy.

Hi Catriona,

I wouldn’t feel too worried about this. While we think using OpenRent is the best and safest way to create a tenancy, some landlords prefer to use their own processes for creating a tenancy and just use OpenRent to find tenants. This is quite common, so there’s nothing to worry about from this request of theirs alone.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any more questions!

Hi Catriona,
Don’t worry. What you describe is exactly what I do, and many other landlords. The reason is that landlords may have several properties and we want all the deposits held with just one company to simplify admin. So we don’t want to use the deposit service through OpenRent.
Ask a few questions (and get the reply in writing in an email). Find out the circumstances of the holding deposit being retained or returned. My process is to keep the holding deposit in my business account, then when the tenant moves in and pay’s the difference to make up the property deposit, that full amount goes into the government approved deposit scheme.
If you know the company name, you can also look them up at companies house for free, and find out names of directors, how long they have been trading, what properties they own, and read the annual accounts.

They should provide you with a holding deposit agreement to sign, (and they sign) before you pay.