Holding Deposit lodged by Stranger
I currently have a large 3-bed 3-storey house available to rent.
Itís not registered as an HMO and I donít want it to be an HMO as I really canít be bothered with all the faff. The advert states that it is suitable for a family or a maximum of 2 sharers.
Today, I had just finished a viewing when I received an email from OpenRent advising me that a holding deposit had been placed. I assumed that it was the tenant who had just viewed it and was absolutely amazed to discover that it was from someone who had made an enquiry just 20 minutes earlier then proceeded to pay the holding deposit with no information except his name and a comment that ďI want this house 28th AugustĒ.
I never accept a tenant that I havenít met personally so rejected the deposit. I then replied to the applicant asking my usual (basic) questions and discovered that it was for 5 foreign adults.
I donít believe the house is suitable for 5 adults (even if they are from one household, which I doubt) so will not be offering a viewing but was really surprised that OpenRent just accepted the deposit (and suspended the advert accordingly) from someone with whom Iíd had no contact. (The enquiry showed as unread).
The deposit has now been refunded but I found the whole thing a bit unnerving. Iím only a ďsmall timeĒ landlord (4 properties) and donít need to advertise very often as my tenants tend to stay for years so I havenít come across this before. Is it normal for people to do that?
How do you stop it happening?
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