How to get a holding deposit back?

How to get a holding deposit back?

12:57 PM, 30th April 2015, About 7 years ago 7

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I am a prospective tenant where the agency and landlord have taken considerable time drafting the lease, so much in fact that there is little time until the lease is targeted to commence.

At this point I have no confidence that the AST will be complete when my current lease expires. Given this I have had to extend my existing lease (which is quite a bit more expensive than the new one) and want to cease negotiations on the targeted property.

If I ask for return of my holding deposit do I have a good chance of receiving some or all of it? And if so, how should I make this request? One additional point, when the holding deposit was taken it was itemized as “Initial Rent” by the agent in the invoice.

Many thanks



Anthony Endsor

13:52 PM, 30th April 2015, About 7 years ago

Hi Jonathan

The whole point of a 'holding' deposit is to secure the property for you so that nobody else takes it from you. It is a commitment on your part to take on the property, and on the part of the agent/landlord to let to you. If you then choose to renege on the agreement I would think they would be perfectly justified in not refunding it, otherwise what would be the point of taking it in the first place? If they really wanted to dig their heels in, they could even go as far as charging you for any further expenses, such as loss of rent during the now new void period, or any cleaning expenses they may have gone to in order to get the property ready for you.

jonathan schiavo

14:20 PM, 30th April 2015, About 7 years ago

OK, but the scenario I am faced with is that given the length of time it is taking for the landlord/agency to agree to terms, I face the very real scenario of arriving at a few days before the lease is scheduled to commence and the landlord decides to they do not want to sign the AST. Then I am stuck with no place to go. I want to pre-empt this situation as I cannot be left without sufficient time to fund a home. Also, I believe the landlord is not currently negotiating in good faith.

John Frith

15:44 PM, 30th April 2015, About 7 years ago

How long is the "considerable time" they've taken to draft the agreement? Unless there is something unusual going on, the agreement is usually off the shelf, which would lead me to suspect that there is another, hidden reason for the delay.

They can only deduct their expenses from the holding deposit if you forfeit.

Anthony Endsor

16:05 PM, 30th April 2015, About 7 years ago

Well IF it is the case that the Landlord has actually found another tenant, it will be HIM who will be reneging on the agreement, and so he will owe you compensation for costs to you.
Jonathan, you need to speak with the agent and find out what's going on. Don't just pull out otherwise you could face a real battle to get your deposit back and may well not succeed for the reasons I've already stated.

Jay James

16:19 PM, 30th April 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "jonathan schiavo" at "30/04/2015 - 14:20":

How long has it been since you paid the holding fee?
Have you directly asked the landlord why there is a delay?


12:23 PM, 9th August 2015, About 7 years ago

This might help explain your position -- article on Holding Deposit Agreements: Pre-Tenancy Obligations and Rights (2015) 19 Landlord & Tenant Review 143 (free access) -


16:29 PM, 16th August 2018, About 4 years ago

Can I get my holing deposit back if the agency did not inform me about extra fees, e.g. extra pay if electricity goes above certain amount quarterly, check out fee, being said internet connection included, but not in the Tenancy Agreement. plus want me to pay VAT on administration fee. (they website clearly says: Admin fee VAT included.) I have signed Room Offer Confirmation, but I do not want to deal with them anymore. What can I do? Thanks

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