A friend of ours recently split from her partner, and has been looking for a 2 bedroom flat for her and her little boy. She found a property through a local estate agent, which was advertised as including a washing machine and cooker. The agent asked for a £300 holding fee, which she has paid. Since doing this the agent has e-mailed her the rental contract, which states that the holding fee is non refundable. No problem there, but they are also asking for a months rent as a deposit, plus a months rent in advance, and have not deducted the £300 holding fee. The agent told her that this is a "finding fee". She was not informed of this at all. Added to this, she has subsequently been informed by the agent that the washing machine might not actually work, as it has been standing out in the garden for a year, in which case she would need to buy her own. She has also been told that she needs to arrange household contents insurance to cover the cooker, and that the TV aerial needs to be replaced as the previous tenant damaged it!! When she complained to the agent they simply said that she should have asked questions before paying the holding deposit. So, firstly, shouldn't the £300 holding deposit be deducted from the deposit and rent at the time she moves in? I fully understand them keeping it if she pulls out of the agreement, but charging a tenant a completely non-refundable holding fee sounds wrong. Also, if the flat was advertised as having a washing machine, shouldn't the agent have disclosed information to her about it's state before she agreed to take the flat? The flat is unfurnished apart from the cooker, and the dodgy washing machine, so how on earth can the landlord demand she takes out contents insurance? Once again, shouldn't this have been disclosed by the agent? Hope this makes sense, and I'm really grateful for any advice.