Tenant not moving in

Tenants were supposed to move in on the 5th April, signed Tenancy agreement on the 5th of March and paid holding deposit. Then called around 15th March and asked if the move in date can be delayed to 15th April, which I have agreed to. They have not paid the full deposit or the rent for the first month and now said they can’t give a move in date. What are my options? openrent account is asking for surrender of tenancy but will I get the holding deposit?

if they surrender you get the holding deposit,. If you stop them, you dont

Thanks @Colin3, I’m new to open rent . Do the tenants need to login to open rent and surrender? Or should I be doing that?

i would wait till openrent read this and they will give you the answer. I have a feeling if you do it you would stitch yourself up. I dont do holding deposits and have never been let down , I only advertise on open rent. Join a landlords association for free legal advice, download of doccuments, free update meetings, and tax deductible. ! Strictly speaking if they signed a tenancy agreement you could sue for the whole term, but that could be expensive

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Hi Chaitanya, sorry to hear about stressful situation. Our team can be contacted here to give you direct help with this tenancy. Here is some general information as well.


Thank you @Sam for the info

I have emailed, they responded back saying the the tenant will be getting the holding deposit and I need to arrange off their platform if I want the holding deposit. Unless I go to court I don’t see how I can get any of the rent or holding deposit

The tenancy is not going ahead because the tenants don’t want to move in after signing the contract and its bizarre I can’t get the holding deposit and openrent will pay them back the holding deposit. Is this correct or normal? I don’t have much experience letting out properties (I have only let out once before) so any advise is much appreciated.

Hi Chaitanya
I recently had exactly the same happen to me back in January.
Holding deposit paid, AST signed and then tenants said they didn’t want to move in - changed their mind
I eventually (and I mean eventually) got them to sign a surrender deed which was independently witnessed and I sent this off to open rent. Despite all of this open rent needed the tenant to press the cancel button their end which they would not! They came up with lots of excuses (saying they didn’t know how to do it etc) and I even took legal advise and not withstanding the amount of time I spent on this it stressed me completely because until they were cancelled I couldn’t re-let it in case they changed their mind and then I’d have 2 live AST’s on the same property, whether they had or hadn’t paid first months rent. Judge Rinder was even approached to take on the case.
Open rent eventually!!! Despite time
Lines and extensive emails to them previously , sent us all an email to confirm that we all wanted the AST to cancel on the terms of the surrender which i has sent previously to them which clearly stated I would get the holding
Deposit back ( yes I know I could have cancelled it but I would then have forfeited their holding deposit) and this had already cost me money in loss of rent and ongoing bills at the property whilst empty.
Personally If this happened again would cancel it straight away and move on. Emotional cost is greater than a few £100 pound or I would in future not take a holding deposit

Good luck you will fast as I did as back then I was brand new to open rent

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you have opened my eyes with this I dont take a holding deposit <But was under the impression that if the tenant cancelled then the landlord got the holding deposit . I didnt know the tenant had to push a cancel button Openrent are not being fair .That sounds more like them saying “I am on the side of the tenant” Yet they get their money from us !! This reinforces my view advertise with openrent on the net as that is very good and do everything else yourself


Thank you all, yes that is so unfair they are siding with the tenant and going forward I’ll only use openrent to advertise the property.
I guess my only option is to move on I don’t think the tenant will cancel knowing they can get the holding deposit if I cancel.


Yes, without a doubt they appeared to be on the side of the tenant why they eventually stepped in I’ll never know. It was so frustrating because they could see the emails myself and the tenant had shared.
The tenant kept using the excuse that they didn’t know how to Press cancel the button even tho I sent them step by step guidance on this.
Amazing how they managed to do everything else via the OpenRent log in up to the point of wanting to cancel, then miraculously they couldn’t.
Chancers Liars and cheats. They were lucky I didn’t take them to court as some
Landlords would out of principle. They were let off lightly although they couldn’t see that. They
Kept saying they had a 14 day cooling off period! Even when I said they need to read the AST property which clearly states they don’t. Amazing how people can certify themselves as dense when they want to.


Another reason why we need a rich landlord to set up a bad tenant list… Liars and chancers sums up a lot of tenants. Everyone remember check everthing yourself , if they lie ONCE do not take them on. If you have stitched yourself up with Buy to Let loan it WILL only get worse with a tenant like described by tracey9. No one will help you as a landlord …ONLY yourself


I’m ready to move just need a property iv looked in to Church Street but no one has got back to me

I think that OpenRent have no choice but to return the deposit and there are very strict rules with the “Tenant Fee Ban” which came in on 1st June 2019. The Tenants have not surrended the tenancy so you must return the holding deposit within 7 days however, you could negotiate with them for you to keep the holding deposit and you agreeing to release them from the tenancy. You have to be very careful when you take a holding deposit these days. See links below which hopefully are of some help:

Thanks @Clint,my problem is not that I don’t want to let out, its the tenant didn’t want to move in , in the second link you posted actually says if the tenant changes their mind then landlord get to keep the holding deposit. Also they were supposed to pay the balance deposit and rent for April and supposed to move in by 5th April , they didn’t so I lost a month’s rent too.
Surely I’m not at the wrong here so Open rent should be paying me the holding deposit. Lesson learnt ,I have decided to now not use open rent to collect deposit or rent going forward,I will only use them for advertising the property. They also now charge £10/month for rent collection.


totally agree collect any deposits, rents etc yourself, downioad an agreement , join a landlords association… I have had" TO LET" signs for my shops made, which I can put up myself Cost £15. great if there is another shop to let nearby, up with an agent. See theirs. you see mine saved a lot of money

I only use OpenRent for advertising and nothing else so I don’t know how they have collected the holding deposit. If the Tenant has definitely changed their mind and stated that they don’t want to take up the tenancy then, I agree you should get the holding deposit however, when OpenRent collected the holding deposit, they were only allowed to keep it for 15 days which would take it to 20th March so it would depend if it was agreed in writing that the holding deposit could be kept beyond the 20th March and up to what date. It also depends if OpenRent stated that the holding deposit would go towards the tenancy deposit as, silly as it seems you would be in breach if the holding deposit was put against the main tenancy deposit without the permission of the tenant. The new law is all very tricky and very much dependent on what terms the holding deposit was collected. OpenRent must have the terms that the tenant had to agree to so I would ask them to send that. The Tenant must clearly state that they do not want to take up the tenancy and you release them from the tenancy. In theory the tenant is responsible for the full fixed term of the rent however, it may be best to try and negotiate the holding deposit with them saying that you are releasing them from the tenancy. Everything depends on the terms that the holding deposit was held under.

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Go to the link below and you will see that what I have said is correct:


Please let me know what transpires at the end of it all.

Hang on a minute. Did you say Open Rent are charging for rent collection ? That is news to me.

Very sorry to hear that Open Rent cause you so much stress when it is clear that the tenant is in the wrong here. I have always collected my holding deposits as I dont trust third parties.Seems I have made the right decision.

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