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Multiple Holding Deposit


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Could someone give me some advice in this case.

The 3 bedroom house was advertised for 1250 pcm. The landlord through an agency agreed to let the house for 1100 pcm minimum plus 6 months rent in advance because I am not working now. I looked the house and paid 250 Holding Deposit for 1100 pcm for the family of 4 adults and 1 child. The agent promised me that I will be first and the house will not be shown to anybody else. 15min later after my looking another person looked at this house and 4 hours later paid 250 Holding Deposit for 1150 pcm

for the family of 2 adults and 6 children.

I went to the agency and told them that I know about second deposit. They told me that it is usual practice to collect many deposits in the interval 1100 - 1250 in this case , "another person paid Holding Deposit 15 min later" and only the landlord will choose seriouse people from us.

I told the an agency that if I will not be provided with a choice to be first according "Sale of Goods Act" - first come - first served (if nessesary to pay 1150 pcm) I will complain. When I asked to give me this agent's or the manager's surname or an interview with the manager or to make an appoitment to the manager he refused me.

Is it illigal or not? What should I do next.

PS: I very need this house and have got good references from my landlors also my references have been succeful in two separately independant agecies in last two months. However another family (1150) does not have good references from last landlors so they lost deposit (1000) due to damage to the property.

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The Sale of Goods Act is not relevant. Someone else's property is offered to applicants on the merits of the individual, not first come first served. You have no right to someone else's property before contracts have been signed and exchanged.

Notwithstanding the above, there may be an issue with the advice given by the agent. Did they provide you with terms and conditions for securing a property? Even if they did, the landlord could override it if they wish. What shouldn't happen is the refusal to refund your deposit if the property is made available to someone else.

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It's for the agent, and landlord if the agent refers back to him, to decide on the merits of the application. For example, sometimes a pushy applicant will put them off as may indicate potential for difficulties further down the line. So long as landlord or agent don't illegaly discriminate it's up to them who they choose.

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First See- Will Let

A holding deposit is paid to the landlord/agent to hold the property for you

whilst you decide whether to take it or not. Exactly what has been agreed depends

on the wording, but usually once you have paid a holding deposit the landlord/agency

should not then show the property to other prospective tenants.

Do you agree with this?

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First reply refers, if you think the agent or landlord has gone against an explicit agreement, and can prove it, you may have grounds for a complaint to their professional body, ombudsman or small claims court, but no guarantee you'll get the property. If the landlord overrides an agent acting on their behalf, he may be liable for any costs they incur. You need to refer to the terms & conditions when your application was received.

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Copy of receipt for your attention:


£250 paid as a fee of intent for the above mentioned property at a rental of

£1100 pcm

I agree that this is a fee of intent and is non-refundable under any circumstances. I agree that all application forms will be returned, completed in full by the 21/02/07 (=mistakes, dates should be as of 21/03/07). Failing this, the property will be re-marketed and the fee of intent will not be refunded.

For and on behalf of all tenants: [signtature of the agent]

(=mistake, should be signature of the tenant)

Date: 22/02/07


Actually, I would like to be informed first about the decision of the landlord because I had paid first and should be able to raise the price up to 1150 and get the house.

The agent promised to return full holding deposit to the person who would not be chosen but I am sure he will not to confirm this in writing.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Direct

You need to realise that when renting a property that as a tenant- the very first question you need to ask is "does the Landlord accept Housing Benefit ?" before you even look at the property as you are wasting your and the agent/landlord's time until this has been ascertained.

I will do it - but only with a fully referenced squeaky clean guarantor!

The reason for this is that the vast majority cannot and will not let - is because their mortgage terms stimpulate that they, the Landlord, is not permitted to do so.

I am amazed that the agent didn't quiz you on your background - as i don't even get out of my chair until i have established quite a lot of background info - (when do you need the prop-how long for -how many people /family size - ages of kids - what you do for a living -prof stud unemployed, what budget you are looking to spend etc all of this is a 2 min conversation )

If some tells me that they on HB i will not waste their money, or my time, referencing them, as they will fail referencing on this ground alone - I will talk to them about guarantors etc.

But it would appear that the agent has tucked 2 of you up - It is fair to say that the property was unmarketable whilst you were returning you docs but apparently they were still marketing it and taking further deposits - If you know there were 2 deps held and not returned the very least the agent should do is return half the dep ( leaving him a full intact one). Possibly less reference / admin fees though!

If what he has done ( taken and not returned 2 deposits -with neither proceeding to tenancy )is legal i will eat my hat -

This leads the way foward for me to Advertise a £1000 pcm flat for £200pcm - get loads of viewings and deposits then keep them all -- i would make far more money doing this than actually letting the flat !!!

I would consult CAB or a solicitor to get the facts clear!

Message for next let - ask the question !!


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22/02/07 at 11:30am I looked 3 bed house on 100 Arran Road, SE6 2NN. The agent Tom Lee promised that if I first pay Holding Deposit the house will be taken off the market.

22/02/07 at 11:58am I paid £250.00 Holding Deposit as Fee of Intent (copy enclosed). The Agent,

(probably- Mark Moran -07852162758) who signed this receipt instead of me, promised that if I first pay Holding Deposit the house will be reserved by me, they would take it off the market and would not show it to anyone else according to:

“A holding deposit is paid to the landlord/agent to hold the property for you whilst you decide whether to take it or not. Exactly what has been agreed depends on the wording, but usually once you have paid a holding deposit the landlord/agency should not then show the property to other prospective tenants."

24/02/07 I provided the agency all forms confirming our income, housing benefit and references.

26/02/07 When I asked Mr Kerim why the house was showed to another people after I paid holding deposit and two agents promised not to show it, Mr Kerim said that it happened 15 minutes later and it is policy of the agency to collect as many as possible deposits and next the landlord will choose one of them. Also he refused me to give his or his manager's surname, to let to speak to the manager or to make an appointment to the manager. In fact, this house was showed to another family twice 22/02/07 at 11:45 and 16:00, second deposit was paid at 16:15. I have got the witnesses.

01/03/07 Mr Tom Lee told that Steve is his brother who is the manager of Beaumont Residential Agency. Mr Tom Lee and his sister in the agency promised me if the landlord refused me or choose another tenant then Beaumont Residential Agency must return me an entire holding deposit

according to: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/template/public...lace.vm#holding

“If the landlord pulls out of the deal, you should be able to get your deposit returned.

Complications arise when one agency takes a deposit from you, while another agency takes a deposit from another interested tenant. In this case, the landlord has to choose, and that could be based on which tenant put down the higher deposit.”


“If you give the landlord a holding deposit when you submit the rental application, but the landlord does not accept you as a tenant, the landlord must return your entire holding deposit to you”

05/03/07 Mr Kerim phoned us to tell that the landlord did not accepted Housing Benefit and this house was again on the market. He also asked us to come to the office in order to collect the deposit.

07/03/07 I told Mr Kerim to ask if the landlord accept 6 months rent and 6 month tenancy agreement he refused to ask by phone or email. Mr Kerim promised to speak to the manager and return me holding deposit on Friday 09/03/07.

08/03/07 when I phoned Mr Tom Lee about housing deposit he refused to speak and directed to Mr Kerim.

09/03/07 I phoned Mr Kerim who promised to send email to the landlord and ask if he would agree to sign the tenancy agreement in 6 months with 6 month rent in advance.

13/03/07 I visited the agency, Mr Kerim told us he cannot return my housing deposit because the policy of the agency has nothing to do with people whom receive housing benefits and that we were guilty that we did not say that we receive housing benefit before bringing the deposit and our references were not successful. At the same time Mr Kerim suggested to transfer my holding deposit on another 5 bed house on Wellmeadow Road (‘Please be aware professionals only’). However, Mr Kerim told me that it would be a very different matter if at least Mr Tom Lee knew that we receive housing benefits. Next I asked Mr Kerim to hear carefully when my daughter phoned with a loudspeakers to Mr Tom Lee on his mobile. When my daughter asked the question, Mr Kerim also added that “ we are in the office and having this debate”. Mr Tom Lee said he knew nothing, When I asked Mr Kerim to explain me the procedure of complain he told me to write a letter to the manager. When I asked for the next step he said “he does not know”.

In fact, usually the agencies except Beaumont Residential place an advert Restrictions on Internet (Housing Benefit, Smokers, Dogs, Cats, etc) and/ or ask this in conversation for a viewing appointment and collecting holding deposit to search the prospective tenants. (This agency never states that they do not accept DSS, a copy enclosed)

However, the house on Arran Road will only be available since 21/03/07, therefore the landlord did not experience any losses yet. It was not my fault that the landlord rejected my deal, but was previously agreed to it.

On the 14/03/07 I sent the letter “RE: Refund of holding deposit £250, 100 Arran Road, SE6 2NN”

to the manager Beaumont Residential by Recorder Signed For (Ref: DH118070319GB) -“To be opened by addressee ONLY”. (www.royalmail.com/ “Your item with reference DH118070319GB was delivered from our CATFORD Delivery Office on 15/03/07”).

On the 15/03/07 Mr Tom Lee phoned us, confirmed that he received my letter but refused to return

my holding deposit and refused to confirm this decision in writing. He informed that Mr Mark Moran (Mob- 07852 162758) was the person who took my holding deposit and signed instead of me Fee of Intent on 22/02/07 and Mr Kerim Turkmen was responsible for my case.

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Hi Direct

Wow - you are getting messed about !

First you need to speak to either CAB or trading standards to establish absolutely where you stand with statutory rights which will overide any rip-off agreement.

Assuming you have been "wronged" then they may sort it for you -

( trading standards i have found to be particularly helpful with stuff like this and they will probably personally call on "the agency" within 48 hours to investigate - especially if you can get the other guy who lost his deposit to report to them as well)

Or you can put them on written notice that if the monies are not returned as cleared funds within 7 days you will be employing the services of a debt collection agent and all DC feeswill be payable by them(the agent) (see my other posts for more details!)

Essentially you need to put them in a position where it is easier to pay you and get rid of you than it is not too !

This is all assuming you actually have a legal right to the money being returned !

On the basis of what you have said, i don think this is at all fair - specially with the story changing each time you contact them ! on this basis alone i would make such a pain in the arse of myself that they gave it back to me just to get rid of me !!!

You can do a lot of damage standng outside their office just talking to people entering and leaving : bet you get a fist full of cash in less than an hour if you do this !

I will be interested to hear how you get on !

Simon (firm but fair !)

PS how did you pay was it cash by any chance?

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