Did anyone choose not to use RN and if so, did prospective tenants still had to pay 1 week rent to OpenRent?
Hi Rose, One week’s rent is the holding deposit we take in Rent Now.
If you choose not to use Rent Now, you can take your own holding deposit from the tenant. The tenants can pay this directly to you.
Using Rent Now will ensure that the holding deposit is treated properly according to all rules, including the Tenant Fees Act which has placed restrictions on:
- the size of the deposit you can take
- how many deposits you can take at once
- how long it can be held
- whether it can claimed as forfeit if the tenancy falls through
Open Rent use DPS for Deposits, which I DIDN’T want (they were really shoddy from a previous experience of ADR when going to dispute). So, I just paid for OpenRent to advertise for tenants, used my own AST with the RLA and took the 1 wk’s Holding Dep. directly, which was then offset against 1st month’s rent. I chose to use TDS for Dep. instead.
Thanks Sue, I adopted similar strategy in the past however my experience of DPS on the whole has been ok. Did find myself in ADR situation also, outcome was not brilliant but upon reflection the tenant did a good number us all with her tale and manipulation that whilst I played by the rules waiting for the essential court document to be printed and sent, she harangued DPS who unaware of the revision, crumbled under the onslaught and returned her deposit.
I would use DPS again, just be extra careful selecting my tenants and should I find myself in a similar predicament, don’t trust anyone to play by the rules and be more proactive engaging with DPS.
I’ve only ever been to dispute the once, Rose, after 10 years of letting. The DPS accepted most of my tenants’ lies. I wasn’t allowed to speak to the Case Officer. I had to simply speak to their helpdesk (which invariably, wasn’t relayed accurately).You’re spot on re: “tale and manipulation”! My professional" tenants’ behaviour quickly changed when it might cost them money! Not only did DPS NOT respond to me, it took forever, since they gave the tenants additional time to respond, past the deadline.I had to really fight to get some “inadmissible” 3rd party “evidence” dismissed. The DPS even got their arithmetic wrong when calculating the split of the Deposit! (one item awarded to me was paid to them). No apology from them. Very frustrating, time-consuming experience. The DPS have recently given the Tenant of a friend of mine around 9 mths.- before finally telling them their case was appropriate to the Small Claims Court, rather than County Court. They even accepted “evidence” from a relative of the SOLE tenant - whom DPS, nor my friend/Letting Agent, had ever heard of before - the relative was claiming c.£15K; having suddenly decided after 3 yrs. that HE contributed to the Deposit (no such proof) and hadn’t been served with Prescribed Information. The tenant colluded with this. I’m not saying the TDS are better - it’s not until you have to deal with a dispute that a Scheme shows its worth.
Oh Sue, I thought my experience was bad enough it put me off letting for a while. I am so sorry.
Even though the system is promoted as non bias, I do think on the whole tenants are seen as the underdog by DPS, after all that is really why it was established, to protect tenants deposit. It also suffers from the misconception that engaging with dispute administration equates with understanding character, property management and letting and I think that’s a serious flaw. I was lucky to get one adviser who did seem to understand and her recording did help initially but like I said, the tenant managed to get one over all of us, ultimately to the tune of £7k+ My tenant having damaged the house, also produced her father who supposedly completed repair and maintenance, Hope the relative in your case didn’t get the £15k though but you know, what goes round comes around - I seriously believe that!
Hear, hear, Rose! Now I feel for you! £7K losses! That’s totally unacceptable! That the tenant can get away with that, with no comeback! And probably treat all the properties she rents in the same manner! My friend’s case is still ongoing ( I wish you well with all future lets. We learn by experience but can NEVER predict a tenant’s behaviour, whatever references we obtain.
OpenRent have since moved to MyDeposits for reasons such as this.
Thanks for letting us know, Dean! (Apologies, late in reading this!)