Unwanted Holding Deposits

I agree with that. if a tenant puts a holding deposit down without my say so, he/she will not get one of my places. It will be a reason to refuse them


We do ask tenants to confirm they’ve viewed the property, as well as make it clear they are not holding the property, simply putting forward an application which the landlord ultimately decides on. There is no obligation made to the tenant until a landlord accepts a holding deposit.

In terms of your suggestion, if it was to be that a landlord had to confirm a tenant prior to them starting their application, the issues would be potentially clunky/painful. For example, if you enabled userA@example.com to place a holding deposit - as that’s the email they used when enquiring, but the tenant actually wanted to use a different account, or that’s the lead tenants partner and the tenant actually placing the deposit is different, then the second account/email would no longer have access and would need granting access. This would require some back and forth and in the worst case put tenants off using the process at all.

Rent Now tenancy creation is designed to be extremely simple to use, whilst maintaining flexibility for very advanced scenarios (eg. contract specifics, deadline for agreement and other tenant fees act laws, etc), all whilst keeping respective parties in control 24/7.

As it stands tenants aren’t made any promises until an application is accepted, and landlords can reject a holding deposit via SMS reply or a simple click of a button. Landlords can request holding deposits from tenants they wish to proceed with to formalise this process. As before, if landlords have any particular preferences, like not starting Rent Now until certain steps have happened, we 100% recommend outlining this to tenants when they enquire.

We’re always open to feedback, but we do need to balance ease-of-use and flexibility against restrictive measures. It sounds like we need to work on messaging, as a tenant placing an application should hopefully be a positive sign rather than a negative one. Much like them enquiring about your property, which should be seen as a potentially positive step towards finding your perfect tenant.

But, doesn’t it take it off the market if someone puts a holding deposit down? That’s then a delay whilst the landlord reflect rejects the deposit before they can carry on marketing.

And what it the landlord has already chosen someone else. It just holds up the process because you can’t move forward with your chosen tenants.

Surely you can invite the account that the potential tenant has set up and they should be able to proceed from a link in that account? There must be a way to do it

No. Advertising is not impacted at all by a tenant placing an application to rent your property. Advertising is only impacted once a landlord accepts a holding deposit.

No I think this is another misconception. Multiple tenants can apply to rent your property at the same time. Only one application can be accepted, but there is no impact to other tenants by starting Rent Now.

Hopefully that clears up any concerns with tenants starting Rent Now, and we’ll look to address anywhere the messaging around this is unclear. If there are any emails / pages on the site that made this confusing / unclear for you, please please do let us know!

You are interfering with the landlords application process by accepting holding deposits from applicants, via an unrequested rent now process, who have not been vetted and have not even viewed the property, and you are causing landlords unnecessary effort.

I am perfectly aware, and it is perfectly clear, how to cancel an application. However, I am not wanting to cancel the application, simply cancel the holding deposit. Do you now see the dilemma you are creating? There is no option to continue with that applicants enquiry under your response.

According to YOUR wording the rent now holding deposit has been paid, and upon the landlords rejection, will be returned, i.e. not “simply requested”.

Hi Chris,

I’m afraid I still don’t follow - are you referring to the old wording or the latest wording on the website?

Since the recent changes, it should be much clearer, and landlords can specify their preferences in the free-text box to the tenant when a holding deposit is returned.

and you are causing landlords unnecessary effort

On the contrary, we are making it easier for most landlords, whilst giving landlords (like yourself) who don’t want to use our tenancy creation service the tools to handle that as well. Again, if you do nothing, the holding deposit is returned automatically, otherwise there are tools to speed this up and make it clearer via replying to our SMS or via actions on the site.

Hopefully there is no more confusing wording on the site for this situation, and for landlords in your situation it’s quick and easy to handle.


When you reject a tenant’s holding deposit, has the hard coded first line saying something like “your application has been rejected” been removed? Most tenants reading that will assume the landlord doesn’t want to proceed with them in any shape or form.

I had to reject yet another holding deposit last week, and the wording had not been changed then.

I really feel there should be no option for the tenant to instigate the placing of a holding deposit. It should only happen at the request of the landlord.


Sorry Daz, but I have to say, I think you are being deliberately obtuse.

I am not aware of any changes, as I have not been presented with this problem since my recent experience on my last listing a couple of weeks hence.

My comments in post #27 were relevant to my last experience of this issue, and perfectly clear and pertinent.

If you have taken the comments on board and revised your wording and options, all well and good, assuming they are practicable.

I have started adding a very clearly worded instruction to not press the Rent Now button until agreed with the landlord in my automatic response to enquiries

I have also made a point of telling viewers not to use the Rent Now button, but some of them still do. I can only assume the wording of the message they receive from OpenRent is very persuasive and implies they will lose any chance of the property if they don’t put down a holding deposit.

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The line that was sent to your tenant on the 7th March was:

I am returning your holding deposit and cancelling this application to rent my property because:
… (your custom message)

So the reference to any kind of “rejection” has been removed. But we need to be clear that the OpenRent application has been cancelled, to avoid confusion around whether the tenant is dealing with an OpenRent application or not. As you’re saying this still isn’t clear, will update it to:

I am returning your holding deposit and cancelling this OpenRent application because:

Hopefully that removes any ambiguity and makes it simple to add clear reasoning in both the case you’d like to reject a tenant, or proceed with them on a different basis.

We are certainly trying to do this! We want to avoid any ambiguity, and make it useful for landlords in all scenarios, albeit we default to the most common use cases.

It would be good for the tenant, if your statements included that “the landlord will still consider your enquiry”.

It would be good for the landlord, if the tenant enquiry is not removed from the enquiry list.

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For me, the enquiry has stayed in the list after I’ve returned holding deposits.

With more recent viewings, I’ve just avoided the whole issue of holding deposits by making the appointment via normal messaging, which means they don’t get a message from OpenRent asking them to put down a holding deposit. I know it also means they don’t get a reminder about the viewing, but I’ve been lucky re no-shows and the property is very nearby, so it works for me.

The fact is that this is only true some of the time. The majority of landlords rejecting a holding deposit are doing so because they won’t consider the tenant’s enquiry anymore. In any case, the site is now flexible with this.

  1. You can supply a custom message of your own that doesn’t contradict any of the site’s default messaging
  2. You can decide on a case by case basis how you would like to proceed with the enquiry (reject it or continue with it)

Hopefully that provides the functionality for all user types, eg:

  1. Proceed with using Rent Now and start referencing (most common path by far)
  2. Proceed with using Rent Now and jump straight to contract
  3. Cancel Rent Now application and proceed with own custom requirements (@Chris35’s preference, @Mark27’s preference some of the time)
  4. Cancel Rent Now application and reject tenant outright (@Mark27’s preference for some applications)

All four scenario’s should now be neatly handled. Thanks for the feedback all.