What is a holding deposit?
Once an offer on a rental property has been accepted, the estate agent will request a holding deposit of one week rent which allows you to secure the property, while the administrative formalities are completed. During this time, the property is taken off the market and shouldn’t be offered to other potential tenants (please note that there can be unfortunate exceptions to this!).
Is the holding deposit refundable?
The holding deposit can be seen as a form of down-payment, since it will be deducted from your first month’s rent and deposit.
The holding deposit is, however, not refundable if:
- You subsequently withdraw your offer for any reason whatsoever (even if you think it is a good reason!).
- Your references are not accepted by the owner
How can you pay the holding deposit?
In order to secure the property as soon as possible, we recommend that you pay the holding deposit immediately by credit card, rather than using the slower method of an international bank transfer. Please note that a 3% charge might be added to the payment if you wish to pay by Credit Card. The agent will inform you of the additional charges.
Beware: if the holding deposit was to be reimbursed by the landlord, because the landlord is withdrawing from the offer, these 3% would not (yes, we find it incredible too!).
Does the holding deposit guarantee that you can move into the property?
Paying a holding deposit does not guarantee that the rental process will be completed, or that you will be able to move in.
A landlord can, in rare but perfectly legal occasions, withdraw from an offer by refunding the deposit(s) paid before the start of the tenancy.