Hi James, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It’s really helpful for us to get feedback on how the site works.
I am sorry to hear a tenant has thought you were responsible for releasing the holding deposit. That sounds stressful.
We at OpenRent are often walking a line between, on the one hand, making the site easy to use, so
that landlords can let property quickly and tenants can secure a new home quickly, and on the other hand, making sure things only progress when both parties have agreed.
Many different setups and combinations have been tested on high volumes of users, and the current configuration of the Rent Now process is the best performing so far. Obviously we continue to test, monitor and develop, and take on feedback such as that you have passed on to us here.
The tenant who placed the holding deposit on your property will have been presented with details on how their money will be treated several times, including in our terms and conditions and on the page they see after they press the Rent Now button. They also receive emails explaining how OpenRent works.
For the large majority of tenants, the way we currently share this information ensures they know how their money will be treated should they place a holding deposit. Unfortunately (but inevitably), some tenants will not read this information at any of the points at which it is presented to them. Even though their money will be handled fairly regardless of them reading the terms, there is not much more we can do except for sharing the terms with them at the relevant points.