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Guide to holding deposits

If you fail a credit check or referencing

The landlord or agent must usually return your holding deposit even if:

  • you fail an affordability or credit check

  • they are not happy with your references

You should get your holding deposit back in these situations, as long as you gave honest and accurate information.

Find out what to do if your holding deposit is not returned.

Credit checks

You can fail a credit check just because you have not built up a credit history. For example, because you are a student or have moved to the UK recently.

Only agree to a credit check if you know you will pass it. You can ask for a credit check to be waived if you can show you can afford the property.

Affordability and referencing checks

If you cannot pass these checks some landlords and agents will ask if you have a guarantor.

Find out about guarantors for private renters.

Find out about renting if you do not have a good credit history.

Landlords and agents cannot charge fees for pre tenancy checks.

Your holding deposit should be returned if you gave accurate information when you paid it.

Last updated: 23 June 2022

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