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Tenants signed the contract but have decided a week later they don’t want to rent the property anymore

How do I ensure I keep the holding deposit?
The tenants signed the contract and then a week later have decided they do not want to rent the property.

Because this is their decision and they are choosing to back out, I believe I have the right to keep the holding deposit as they have just wasted 6 weeks of my time.

Can someone please advise as how I should proceed so I keep the holding deposit.

Note they had not yet put down the months rent upfront or the actual deposit.

In principle you are entitled to keep the holding deposit, but only if youve followed the correct procedure.

  1. You cant have held it for more 15 days or other formally agreed period.
  2. You have to write to the applicant within 7 days to explain why you intend to keep the deposit.

Okay, thank you David for your very clear answer.

Everything was managed via OpenRent, so they have the holding deposit.

It would definitely be more than 15 days that OpenRent have had the deposit.

I have no idea if OpenRent have specified terms re the holding deposit and if they have stated they may hold it for more than 15 days…I would hope OpenRent would have this covered for these circumstances.

The tenants messaged me Friday night, so I will call OpenRent on Monday, and confirm, and then get them to email the tenants to explain (hopefully) that they will not be getting the holding deposit back.

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I have no idea if Openrent have covered that either, but I think its worth a try anyway. In the unlikely event that the applicant complains to Trading Standards you could always refund it then if you need to.

Can you let us know how it goes and if you get to keep the holding deposit? Good luck!