8:43 AM, 4th February 2014, About 8 years ago 56
Should a holding deposit be retained by the agent or the landlord?
A tenant paid my agent just under two weeks rent as a holding deposit, but a week later had to pull out due to personal circumstances. I told the agent I expected an amount equal to a weeks rent (being the amount lost due to the property being off the market). The agent agreed to pay me a little less than that, and I presumed that they had paid the remainder back to the person who backed out.
I was surprised to later discover that the agent retained the full amount, which seems unethical. I can understand them retaining an application fee, but not a holding deposit – after all it’s my property it is holding! I do not know if they charge a letting fee (nothing on the website) and I’ve not seen the terms of the holding deposit – it may say they will retain it in these circumstances. No mention of holding deposit in their terms with me. I would like to challenge this on principle, but I’m loathe to, as I’ve had a good working relationship with them up to now.
Any voices of experience or wisdom?
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