Reservation deposit when renting?

I’ve been looking to rent a place, and the letting agency sent me this form. It mentions a non-refundable reservation deposit. Is this normal practice? Is it the same as holding deposit? Does it have any protections, or they can just say, meh, and keep it?

When it comes to renting it won’t surprise me what they ask deposits for. I think when I was renting I just closed my eyes and hope for the best.

I think this is to make sure you don’t pull out say if you find a different property elsewhere. But if they do I would expect them to refund. I would email them to clarify and have it in writing

Looking online it seems it’s been around for a while. And that some letting agencies take the piss by asking multiple people to pay it for same property, then wait for landlord to decide. But that could just be isolated cases

But that’s what the holding deposit is for. And the holding deposit is refundable (by law) as long as you don’t lie when submitting your information to them and don’t pull out from renting the place. It’s just strange they call it a reservation deposit and only say it’s non-refundable. I’ve contacted them for more information, but still would be interested to know if someone came across this as well.

Ah good point… To be honest then I don’t know. Like I said it seems that letting agents always find new types of deposits to shake down prospective lenders.

Have you challenged the agency what this is for? Are they saying that if your references don’t check out they will hold this amount?

Good luck with this - I suspect it’s probably legal but unethical. It’s all well and good challenging all these things but not as easy to do when you need a place to live. The other option I used once with landord issues was to contact Citizens Advice Bureau. They were able to give me good advice when my landlord didn’t want to put the deposit in the scheme (he was really dodgy).

Sounds like it’s just a fee. I thought this sort of thing had been banned? This way the agent makes money from the landlord and the tenant often without the Landlord knowing.

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@Serrisan They still haven’t replied to me. But I’m in no rush to move out, so it’s not a big deal.

@HBG Yeah, agency fees have been banned in 2019. But this is supposedly a “deposit”. If it’s a “holding deposit” - that’s still legal, but they’re not calling it that which is why I’m suspicious.

Good luck with it! I remember how stressful it was to get straight answers from estate agents

Thanks. They’ve replied. Apparently, it is a holding deposit, not sure why they didn’t just call it that at the outset. Anyway, found a few things in the pics that aren’t going to work for us.