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Once you have found a good candidate for a tenancy, you are then faced with the task of signing up the tenant. Taking an initial holding deposit is an excellent way of ensuring early commitment from a prospective tenant.

The RLA Initial Holding Deposit Form offers the following benefits:

  • Happy Prospective Tenant - Use the RLA's Initial Holding Deposit Form and your prospective tenant will feel a lot happier handing over such a deposit - as all terms are clearly laid out.
  • Secure The Best Tenants - By showing that you are a professional and trustworthy landlord, you will secure the best tenants.

Please note - ensure you explain to your prospective tenant the conditions for the initial holding deposit and also give them a copy of the RLA Tenancy Agreement.

From June 1st 2019, landlords and agents in England are prohibited from taking a holding deposit of more than 1 week rent in total. You are also prohibited from taking more than one holding deposit for a property at the same time. In addition, the holding deposit may only be retained in certain circumstances. 

As of September 1st 2019, landlords and agents in Wales are also prohibited from taking a holding deposit of more than 1 week rent in total. In addition, from February 28th 2020, landlords in Wales need to provide prescribed information prior to taking a holding deposit from their prospective tenant.


The RLA has produced initial holding deposit forms to be used for tenancies in England and Wales. These documents allow landlords take a holding deposit with the confidence they are complying with the different legislation around the fees ban in the two nations.

These documents are available to download for free as part of the membership subscription to the RLA along with over a hundred other documents.

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