Tenant wants to pull out day after referencing started - how to approach?

Two days ago a viewer of my property said she liked the place. After going home she started Rent Now procedure and put a holding deposit.
I then purchased referencing through Openrent and the reference process started.

Last night she contacted me to say she was not going to go ahead.
She hasn’t cancelled from her end yet though and if I do cancel, I read that she will receive the holding deposit back in full. How can I be reimbursed for the referencing which will now not go ahead?

I am going through the same situation now ( understandably) but the costs are mounting up. Did you find out how the tenant cancels and do they pay for their credit check at least if they pull out?

Ok so the tenant has now cancelled and I got a message from OpenRent that I would receive refund of £20 for the referencing. However as the tenant has pulled out I thought that the landlord should receive the full holding deposit as compensation, explained here:

What Happens to the Holding Deposit If Someone Pulls out?

Waiting for a response from OP Chat regarding this.

you are correct in your reading of the holding deposit

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But this is now a mess.
The tenant has not cancelled the Rent Now process, so my listing is still not up.

How was she able to cancel the referencing that I paid for but not cancel the tenancy application.?

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openrent will no doubt answer that. Maybe she thought she would not pass it

No. All I’m getting from OpenRent is email telling me to accept tenancy without reference or cancel to get listing back online. lmao when I try to cancel I get a message warning me that I will forfeit my right to receive holding deposit. Laughable situation. I was going to give back most of it to her anyway after taking out a little for expenses etc.

Thank you. The tenant is saying they cannot surrender online and OpenRent are asking tenant to meet with me. I was convinced that wasn’t the case. Thank you. I will go back to Openrent for 14th time in these last 5 days!

Open rent is a good advertising agency, and good for references, gas checks ect. But when it come to complexities I have found thro experiance to handle these myself. I would take the holding deposit myself and keep until all passed that way you have control.

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either keep it and make them jump thru hoops to get it or just give it back and move on. you are worrying about pennies here instead of focussing on re renting it

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I’m just highlighting a flaw in the system. Never been in the situation before so I needed some clarity on procedures.
Not being the sadistic type I don’t typically make people jump through hoops. It was an OpenRent query.

Hi Ralph. I had a similar situation last month. Referencing was all done and at the contract signing stage, the tenant pulled out. Very frustrating. I requested the tenant to cancel from their side, which they did. The holding deposit is held by Openrent for quite a while but I received an email yesterday telling me that it would be transferred to me.

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Hi all,

In @Ralph2’s case, upon rejecting the tenant’s application, this triggered a refund of the holding deposit and we also re-advertised the property.

Where a tenant is pulling out of the application, they are able to cancel this on the website and it’s upon their doing so, the holding deposit becomes forfeit.

In the rare occasion where a tenant is pulling out but refuses to cancel the application on our website, we’re at hand to assist. If it’s the tenant that isn’t proceeding, landlords will always be able to facilitate a claim on the holding deposit. This, however, didn’t happen here as the tenants were rejected by the landlord.

It’s also important to note that the Tenant Fees Act came into force last year, and this prohibits tenants from being charged for referencing. More info here.


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Thanks for the replies guys. That’s a lot clearer now.