Tenants pull out after contract signed and deposit secured

Hi there. We have a very unhappy experience with our potential tenants. After using RentNow and signing the contract, tenants claim that their bank had frozen their account and refuse to pay Openrent their deposit and first month rent as suspicion of fraud. After a stressful weekend with the bank, the tenants today inform us they wish to surrender their tenancy. They claim they feel no support from Openrent once something is wrong compared to a high street agent. We have tried everything we could to convince them Openrent is quite legal, and it has very little to do from now on since we already have a contract. No nope, they still want to surrender. We are quite unhappy since this is a complete waste of time. We consider ourselves to be very nice landlords that we say ok to pets, let them paint walls, and even consider putting in a new bath if they are staying long term. Surely they don’t get their holding deposit back. After negotiation they agree to pay us half of one month’s rent as a compensate. Now we just let Openrent conduct the whole tenancy surrendering process and start from beginning again. Such a pain!

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If they haven’t moved in then they don’t yet have a tenancy, just a contract to supply one. You would both have to agree to cancel the contract and you can make that conditional as you’ve suggested. Make sure you follow the legal requirements of the Tenant Fees Act if you are planning on keeping the holding deposit.

I wish I could a landlord like yourself, my partner and I work 12 hour nights as keyworkers, yes we are responsible owners who pride any home we rent. We love our cottage but for the last 8 months plagued with quad and motor bikes. Landlords wont except us because we have pets, we can give amazing landlord references. We need more landlords like yourself please. Hope you get sorted with new tenants soon.

Kind regards

Donna Salem

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… mmmmda… all problems go from you first … how can you blame someone ?

Can you please specify what we did wrong?

take no notice of olga3

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Its all part n parcel of being a landlord. Just suck it up and frankly be glad. They sound like they could be pain in the rear tenants anyway. Landlording is not risk or stress free…


My sentiments exactly. It should be straightfirward if applicants mess about I will not proceed with them.


I found a Tenant through Open Rent this July. All seemed well.
However this Tenant turned out to be a drug dealer, he wrecked my house, refused to pay rent, and I’ve had an almighty struggle to remove him. Gone now, after only 4 months, but my financial loss is huge.

If you have ANY concerns about a Tenant, any messing about, anything strange, suspicious, then do not go there. Start again. Give them back the holding deposit, you don’t want them in your house. I wish to God I’d spotted the signs, I could have saved myself a lot of suffering. And Open Rent isn’t totally safe - I’m sorry, but it’s true.

Rosie :slight_smile:


Rosie7 They can only check so much . Its up to us as landlords to be very careful. We can all be caught out, there are a lot of scammers out there Many tenants lie to one degree or another especially if desperate for a place. At least your losses can be set against tax


Hi Open rent are a great platform for advertising.
When it comes down to collecting deposits, rent ect do this yourself, you will then have control not a third party .


Exactly so that is what I do . In fact I still collect some rents with a rent book !

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Colin3, I agree with you - there’s only so much you can check, even if you pay for a really in-depth search. You can never see their private life and they work very hard to hide it.

Maybe we could make a list of Things To Watch Out For? e.g. it never occurred to me that my Tenant refused a carpet because he wanted to cut a hole in my floorboards so he could hide things underneath…


that would not have occured to me either…I have refused tenants if i see them walking up to my place smoking… and if they looked as IF they were on drugs


I have been using Openrent and have found professional
tenants. One of the tenant stayed for 4years paid rent
in time too and then towards the end there were
some issues paying rent late and did not pay rent.
Somehow I have found out he went to financial
problems and debts , CCJ etc. When it came towards the end of the tenancy contract, I did not renew the tenancy
contract and luckily I got the flat back without going to court but he really made it in mesh. I had to remove the
carpet, even he left old piano that no one would take it as a few keys were missing and had to pay for removal.

So it’s not about just that as landlord is not doing right or wrong or Openrent isn’t totally safe, but there are tenants donot understand their responsibility and they do get away with the system and law.
So in any work there is always a challenge as no work
is stress or risk free. So as a landlord we have to remember that it is learning process and with next tenant we have
to be extra careful.
Some of us are not luckey to have tenants for long time like Colin because of the location and also type of tenants.


Hi Prafula
You’re right, nothing is risk free.
And everything is a learning experience. And some lessons can be very painful.
Yes, some people don’t understand their responsibilities, and some people don’t know the difference between right and wrong - and it causes big problems for other people, doesn’t it.

I’m an older person and I’ve seen a lot of life (and crime, unfortunately). But I wasn’t prepared for what happened to my house. I followed all the rules, checked things very carefully, used a good site like this one (Open Rent) but I still got hurt.
However, I’ve learned a lot, and the learning is valuable!

Sending you love. x


I think what has helped me is that I never took out mortgages to buy , split between .flats, shops and a commercial unit, so no money pressure to find a tenant. Being a builder for 50 years in peoples homes I had another income. I also learnt to judge people as to whether i liked them enough to work in their homes, I could pick and choose. I could tell a few stories !!


As a tenant, I had a bad experience with OpenRent as well. My Bank suspected fraud and threatened to freeze my account. They obviously use an open banking platform which is not widely recognised. I managed to persuade my Bank that everything was OK and that OpenRent are legitimate, but it was not easy and I thought about pulling out. I think that OpenRent should do more on this. I also think that High Street agents do offer more protection to tenants, and I probably wouldn’t repeat the OpenRent experience. I should add that there are good landlords on here (as well as good tenants) and that things can work out - but, if not, I think things could be difficult.


Hi Colin
Would love hear your a few stories and that would good. As you got more experience in this business also would be inspiration to others.

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My stories would be about judging people as to whether we would get on. Not neccesarily in renting but as a builder also . i went to one house were the owner wanted an estimate for a loft conversion. He took me upstairs to measure up and leaned the step ladder against the bathroom door 10 seconds later it opened and the ladder fellonto his wife !. He did not say sorry love. Then he is telling me how to do my job. ,His wife made a suggestion and he told her to shut up in front of me.! I decided then not to give him a price . If he talked like that to her how may he talk to me? Later I put a note thru his letterbox " sorry I cannot do your job" he came around to the job I was on, I was on the roof ,so safe from him ,ranting on how dare you refuse my job . Good escape what?