Holding Fee Refund?

Holding Fee Refund?

14:53 PM, 28th November 2022, About A year ago 4

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Hello, I’m a student looking for rental properties next year!

We paid a holding fee of £400 and haven’t yet signed any lease or paid further deposits, however, we found the letting agent seemed a little dodgy and pushing for payments as quick as possible.

Originally we had 7 days to come to an agreement to sign a lease and pay the rest of the deposit which got changed to 24 hours.

Additionally, all communications were slow to respond unless the issue regarded paying fees or were not responded to at all.

As tenants we want to pull out of renting with this letting agent as we don’t feel comfortable.

I know that in normal circumstances you aren’t able to get holding fees back if you as the tenant pulls out.

However, is this situation different?

Is there a way I’m still able to get that £400 back or is it a shambles even trying to attempt it?

Thank you,


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Ian Narbeth

17:11 PM, 28th November 2022, About A year ago

Hi Mei
Before I can help you, please answer the following:

When did you pay the £400?
Did you sign any holding deposit agreement?
What is the proposed monthly rent under the tenancy?
Is there any other reason you wish to pull out apart from considering the agent "a little dodgy"?


12:04 PM, 29th November 2022, About A year ago

You are right in that if an applicant changes their mind, the holding deposit is forfeited however there may be some information missing here.

A holding deposit cannot be more than 1 week's rent for the property you want to reserve. If you’ve paid £400, that would equate to a monthly rent of £1733. This would be OK if you were paying the deposit on behalf of yourself and other sharers but if this was just for you and the asking rent is nowhere near £1733 per month then this constitutes a prohibited payment under the Tenant Fees Act and you should ask for a full refund


14:34 PM, 30th November 2022, About A year ago

Ian's questions above are crucial. Did you get anything in writing about the 7 days to come to an agreement? If so, then I can't see how this can be changed now without your consent.

If the agent tells you you've lost your deposit, you should write a formal letter of complaint to them and if you don't get a satisfactory response, make a complaint to whichever redress scheme they belong to. The schemes have the powers to fine an agent.


9:00 AM, 1st December 2022, About A year ago

Have a look on Google , shelter, crisis and CAB for help in writing a
" Letter before Action "
Point out that you will be also writing a letter of complaint to the Estate/Lettings Agents redress scheme the Lettings Agents belong too.
Don't let them fob you off.
It's your £400 and you want it back.
Did you get an email to confirm they were changing the holding deposit from 7 days to 24 hours ?

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