I messaged OpenRent with some concerns regarding the wording on the Rent Now page. After receiving a rather perfunctory reply, I thought that I would post to this forum for further comment.
My message was as follows.
Hi, I’ve been swotting up on the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and I think that you may have some inaccurate information on the page after you click ‘Begin Rent Now’.
In the paragraph, ‘Place your Holding Deposit’ you state to tenants that “you will get your deposit back if the landlord rejects your application for any reason”.
The Act clearly states that a holding deposit (or part of) can be retained if a tenant “provides false or misleading information which it is reasonable for a landlord or agent to take into account (this can include the tenants action in providing it) in deciding whether to grant the tenancy (e.g. affects their suitability as a tenant)”. Also “fails a Right to Rent check” and “fails to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement when a landlord or agent has done so”.
I feel that it is important for tenants to know this in advance of an application. I have previously wasted money on reference fees because tenants have not been truthful regarding income and credit worthiness.
Landlords and agents are also obligated to advise tenants of the minimum requirements, before an application is started. I hope this information helps.