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Holding deposit query

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Author Topic: Holding deposit query  (Read 119 times)
Newbie
Posts: 19

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« on: December 19, 2019, 12:31:40 AM »

I can only take equivalent of one weeks rent to hold a property?  I donít want to have to keep it exclusive for a month as most tenants want to serve notice, and then have them change their mind. Can I take one weeks deposit and agree to keep property for just a week if we both agree? I used to think 2-3  weeks was acceptable when they had paid 4 weeks to hold flat and that became the bond on moving in day. People didnít walk away so easily when they had made a bigger financial commitment. What are ďreasonable costsĒ when a tenant messes you about for a few weeks then expects all their deposit back?
Sr. Member
Posts: 299

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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2019, 09:15:13 AM »

The deadline for agreement is "fifteenth day of the period beginning with the day on which the landlord or letting agent receives the holding deposit". You can agree in writing with the prospective tenant a different date, but remember that's the deadline not just for the tenant but for the landlord as well if you want to do any checks etc. first.
Newbie
Posts: 19

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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2019, 12:22:25 PM »

Thanks for that. Are you entitled to keep all of the deposit if they just change their mind? If you are holding a property between 1-15 days should you refund some cash if itís say a day or two?
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2019, 12:54:51 PM »

When you take a Holding Deposit one is assuming you provide the prospective Tenant with some kind of document / receipt? If so, let that detail under what circumstances you can retain the entirety of the Holding Deposit. For me it would be if the tenancy doesn't go ahead due to any circumstance that is the fault or decision of the prospective Tenant - that would include them 'failing' referencing or changing their mind. Get it documented, explain it, get it signed. If someone balks at that stage, or appears to, then you can just say "nah, I have got better prospects".
Sr. Member
Posts: 299

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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2019, 11:08:03 PM »

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 now set strict terms on how a holding deposit can be treated, so terms on such a document is pretty much meaningless.

Thanks for that. Are you entitled to keep all of the deposit if they just change their mind?

You are entitled to withhold the holding deposit if the prospective tenant decides not to go ahead with a tenancy, "fails to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement before" the deadline for agreement, or if the tenant have provided false or misleading relevant information. In all cases, the landlord must not have behaved unreasonably or illegally. To withhold the holding deposit, the landlord must provide a notice in writing within 7 days stating the grounds under which the landlord is entitled not to repay the holding deposit.
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2019, 11:15:11 AM »

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 now set strict terms on how a holding deposit can be treated, so terms on such a document is pretty much meaningless.

You've missed the point, but maybe I need to elaborate - you get a one-pager in front of them and get it signed so that you can have a nice(r) feeling they're aware of the situation when you'd seek to retain their Holding Deposit... you cannot reasonably say "look up details of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and if you're happy with that we'll move forwards"... what you need is that clear and concise one-pager, read and signed as they hand over that money to you, that gives everyone the confidence they know what they're doing... to head-off complaints later. If they fail referencing (maybe they told you they were clean, but have 5 CCJs) or if they find another property they want more - then it was written there and you have their signature strongly implying they read it and understood it... practically speaking... only very unreasonable people would fight that.
Newbie
Posts: 19

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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2019, 06:43:57 PM »

Thank you for the replies.  I had a look at the Tenant Fees link (mushed my head a bit more going backwards/forwards!).  We are in the process of manufacturing a holding deposit document.  I used to have one before they changed the law but have decided on a new one.  Does anyone know where I could find a nice, simple template that I can compare with mine before I start using it?  Appreciate your input. 
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