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letting agent holding deposit

(13 Posts)
220hawthorn Fri 03-Jul-15 16:15:57

Long story short we have been looking for a private rental since January . Seen several which we have gone for to find so have umpteen others and landlord has chosen someone else. Rental market in se London / Kent is mental at the moment. Viewed one house earlier this week. Said we were interested. Estate agent is one of these online companies . Said we just come up short on earning criteria so must use a garantor which we have in place. Fees to reference is 195 per person so that x 3 basically. This is very high compared to other agents in the area (I have spoken and dealt with practically all of them at some stage) the crux is the "holding fee" am aware most want one of these as its stops us fucking about and then walking away. However again from experience it's normally £200-£300 . This agent wants a full months rent , in this case £1250 as a holding deposit.he also wants it in cash.... I have a very bad gut feeling about his pushiness (says tenancy on this plce needs to start asap if we want it as it is vacant and there is someone else who wants it who could move in immediately! We have paid rent here til 29th July and have to serve a months notice on current landlord.
I am seriously getting royally fucked off with these estate agent pricks who all seem out to fleece you and spout utter bollocks

lalalonglegs Fri 03-Jul-15 16:54:06

If the agent is saying cash in used fivers then, yes, you should be worried. If he means you can't pay by a credit card or cheque but can by, say, debit card or bank transfer, I would be less worried. The holding deposit and credit check fees are very high. I think you would be better off to keep on looking.

220hawthorn Fri 03-Jul-15 16:59:15

He literally means used fivers lalalonglegs and was letting me know so I had the weekend to get it gathered together. Shall Iplay him at his own game and say holding deposit of 300 by bankers draft or bank transfer only or I am walking or shall I abandon this and forget it. My concern is a situation where he says oh you have failed somewhere on the references and I have a job getting it back!

lalalonglegs Fri 03-Jul-15 18:27:43

Dodgy, dodgy, dodgy. Walk away. Who knows how many people he has asked for money for references and holding deposits at almost £2,000 each. No high street officevto go to and get your money back from when you do inevitably try to get the money back.

Toughasoldboots Fri 03-Jul-15 18:30:42

It's illegal to take holding deposits in Scotland and looking to be outlawed in Wales.
It's a dodgy practice and I bet they will say that you 'failed' the credit check and keep your money.

220hawthorn Fri 03-Jul-15 19:03:09

I hear you and feel the same. Incredibly frustrating as we have been looking for. Months , landlord is now trying to sell my house and its really getting to me ,x

specialsubject Fri 03-Jul-15 22:01:26

no professional agent does this. I'd be amazed if the property was even really for rent.

walk away.

letting agents are unregulated. No government notices.

TheCrowFromBelow Fri 03-Jul-15 22:05:33

www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview

please read this^^

I personally would walk away but easier said than done when you need somehwere to live

lalalonglegs Fri 03-Jul-15 22:43:28

A holding deposit isn't the same as a tenancy deposit - a HD is a "downpayment" o against the first month's rent on the property to show that the tenants are serious, it doesn't need to be put into a protection scheme. It does, however, need to be properly receipted and the request for it in cash from an agency is very suspicious.

220hawthorn Fri 03-Jul-15 23:34:54

Asked a couple of other established lettings agents and they felt the amount was very high. I should offer a smaller amount and do it by bank transfer or ideally credit card. The house is definately to rent as they gave me the address so I could have a look at location parking etc and the actual landlord was inside painting. He gave me his card he is a decorator with his own long established business. Search d land registry which shows he is owner. Tried to deal direct with the owner but he is adament I go thru this agent as there are supposedly other people interested . Also my old neighbourspparents live right opposite and can vouch for the fact it's Defo a rental property. However the agents conduct is fishy! Also searched for them on companies house and there's no record of them but they have listings on zoopla for both sales and lettings but it's run from a block of offices somewhere!

lalalonglegs Sat 04-Jul-15 10:35:32

Contact the owner as you have his details and ask if he is aware of the agency's costs. Explain that their behaviour is making you - and you suspect other potential tenants - very wary of proceeding.

220hawthorn Sat 04-Jul-15 19:17:15

I have spoken to the owner this morning. We have also walked away and let the house go. Search goes on. Feel so stressed and upset

specialsubject Sat 04-Jul-15 19:53:05

sad, but I think the best decision.

if you have the energy it may be worth telling the landlord that he is losing tenants due to these questionable people.

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