A couple of months ago I successfully let my first house through Openrent. No problems at all. About 20 enquiries turned into a 2-year tenancy in less than 2 weeks from placing the advert. About 3 weeks ago I advertised a second property. A steady stream of enquiries came through (not as quixckly as before, but it was holiday time.) Against my wishes, Openrent recently turned on tenant screening. Since then enquiries have almost completely dried up. I’ve asked to have it turned off, but I was told that’s impossible. I asked some of my relatives to test the system, because I couldn’t believe that nobody was interested in my house. they reported that the system was clunky and off-putting. For example, my daughter (who works in the IT sector so is not easilt put off by web forms) said:
" I selected the option to send you a message, it then only let me submit a form requesting a viewing. It did have a free form text box for a message too, but it’s a bit misleading. Also it only allows you to send a message once in relation to a given property, so it doesn’t allow people to ask you a question, and then follow up by requesting a viewing afterwards.
If I was a potential tenant, I’d be put off by the fact you have to send a message through rightmove first (which apparently disappears into the ether and doesn’t get read by anyone), and then you have to go to Open rent, create an account, and then submit another form. It all seems a bit complicated and unclear about what you’re doing and whether anyone is actually going to get your message. I suspect that’s all out of your control, but that’s my usability feedback anyway!"
My other daughter reported, “It’s quite an excessive sign up process an also seems to be impossible to answer anything other than “yes” to all the screening questions.” She failed to get through to me, presumably becasue she couldn’t work out how to say that she was a non-smoker.
I’m very concerned that all my potential tenants are being screened out, either because they give up when they find the process so onerous or because they can’t work the system to fill in the screening form correctly.
Neither of my daughters were able to send me a message without requesting a viewing, which I think is unhelpful and not what I’ve seen previously with other tenants (before the screening was turned on).
Does anyone out there have any experience of successfully obtainingg tenant enquiries once the screening “option” has been switched on?