Deposit to secure room

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    Deposit to secure room

    I've been renting out rooms in a houseshare for a couple of years now. I recently advertised a room which will be vacant in 2 weeks time. A few people were interested and I offered the room to someone who was looking for somewhere long term. This person had said they had been looking for a while and hadn't found the perfect place, then advised in the evening following the viewing they would take my room. They gave me the required details for the tenancy agreement and I emailed this to them with details for deposit payment which I advised would be needed to secure the room. I removed the room advertisement. This potential tenant then went quiet. After 5 days I checked their profile on the website I had been using to advertise, they had added to this that they would be in the area for viewings on the day before, a few days after they advised they would take the room I had advertised and I could see they had been active on the site that day. I contacted them to say I could see from the website they were still looking around at rooms and that that offer of the room is withdrawn. I had suspected they might be thinking of my room as a backup plan when they went quiet. I didn't wish to rent to someone who was clearly dishonest. So far I have had good tenants and only a few changes since tenants seem to be staying at least 1.5 years then moving in with partners or to another city.
    How long would you advise giving for tenants to pay the deposit to secure the room? I'm thinking that next time I should request this is paid within 24 hours, would this be reasonable? Where do I stand if a tenant pays this deposit and later decides not to move in when they are due to? Do I need to pay it back? I expect I should but I am just thinking of how I can avoid prospective tenants messing me around in future. I accept people will change their mind and I am fine if they communicate this in a timely manner. The other person who was interested has now found somewhere else so I am advertising again.

    #2
    Just keep the advert up until someone pays a holding deposit, which can be a maximum of 1 week from 1 June 2019.

    The new Tenant Fees Act will need to be kept in mind when considering whether the holding deposit is repayble. See Schedule 2. Basically, you can keep it if the prospective tenant decides not to go forward, or "fails to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement [within 2 weeks]", but you need to tell them in writing within 7 days of the valid reason why you can and is withholding it.
    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

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      #3
      Thanks this is useful to know.

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        #4
        I've been noticing that many landlords are now adverting rooms when these are soon to be vacant and many tenants are looking for somewhere asap. I can see from the Tenant Fees Act that if advertising rooms a month before they become vacant, like I have been, as soon as the tenant gives notice, then if a new tenant is found soon after that they effectively have a 2 week cooling off period after paying the holding deposit if the new tenancy does not start in that period, if I am understanding this act correctly. Compared to when I was last advertising last year I haven't had as much interest and this seems to be due to many prospective tenants needing rooms asap, I've had a number of emails asking if the room can be available sooner. So it seems that maybe it would be better for me to start advertising in future around 2 weeks before a tenancy ends now.

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          #5
          Don't advertise a room/proprety before you have possession of it. You can't guarantee any tenant you have in at the moment will allow viwing, or more importantly will actually leave when you expect them to. If they don't, your only recourse is through the court process which can take months. And even if the current tenant does leave when you expect them to, you don't know what condition the property will be in and hence how much/long works will be to restore the property to the condition you want when letting it out.
          I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

          I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

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            #6
            We also dislike 'walls of text'.

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