Disable Rent Now Button

Is there a way to do this yet? I’ve used OpenRent once and want to use them again for another property but this feature worries me as is making me think twice. I can see this has been asked before, but not recently so it would be good to get an update.

Has anyone had problems with prospective tenants clicking on rent now without your consent?

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It needs to go. I’ve had tenants use it and pay deposit without me even offering property. Just creates hassle.

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tell them if you use this button without my consent I will NOT rent to you

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Hi @Michael59 -

Thanks for posting. I think the post from earlier in the year might be helpful:

In the context of that post, it would be super useful for us to understand what about the Rent Now button worries you? And also, as a landlord who has used Rent Now before, was there something specific about the process that you didn’t like and that’s why you don’t want to use it again, or is it mainly a fear of tenants placing a holding deposit before you are ready?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Simply put, a tenant should not see the rent now button until a landlord reveals it to that tenant, along with an appropriate invitation email and text

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I’m nervous to use OpenRent again (especially after reading the post you mentioned) due to not having control over when a tenant can click on Rent Now. From a landlords point of view it seems odd to even talk about deposits (apart from a holding deposit, deductible from main deposit) until you are happy with references/income etc. If I buy Rent Now upfront, it seems logical to have the button greyed out and inactive. When hovered over a message pops up along the lines of “waiting for landlords invitation/activation”

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Hi @Michael59 - Please do have a read through the whole thread, I think it outlines most of the reasoning as to why that proposed solution can actually be worse in a lot of cases. For example in this post:

Hopefully it also goes on to explain that clicking through Rent Now is only a request to rent your property. And furthermore only a request to place a holding deposit. This request does not impact your advertising, and can be cancelled without any issue by either party, until it is accepted.

From a landlords point of view it seems odd to even talk about deposits (apart from a holding deposit, deductible from main deposit) until you are happy with references/income etc.

We are talking about a holding deposit here, or at least a request to place one, which needs to be accepted by the landlord before it’s in any way “active”. We do ensure ads state the full deposit amount, because this is an essential piece of information to many tenants, but the deposit isn’t actually taken from the tenant until after contracts are signed - I’m not sure where this confusion has come from, but if our messaging here is unclear do let me know so we can address it.

If you run into an issue with a tenant initiating rent now against your wishes, and this causes any problems for you / them - please do let us know and we’ll happily take a look. But I do believe any concerns are addressed in both the way the system is designed and our previous posts. However, as I say, am happy to talk about any concrete examples if they were to arise - as well as to make sure to put that right if we did make a mistake or I have misspoken here.

People do not read instructions, unfortunately. They like to click big buttons and worry about the details later on.

It makes no sense to allow a tenant to leave a deposit before being offered the property and agreeing before hand.

Allow the landlord to reveal the rent now button to a selected tenant. This removes the confusion, disappointment, and people will have faith in the system. As it stands they don’t.

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Hi @Mark10 - As we’ve tried to explain, “revealing” the rent now button to a selected tenant is non-trivial (full explanation in my linked post above). Doing it this way would lead to complaints of “The landlord has asked me to proceed but I can’t!”, which is a really bad situation to be in when both parties are keen to proceed quickly.

Furthermore, the landlord needs to accept the request from the applicant before anything happens. If a landlord doesn’t want to proceed with that tenant, the same as if they get an enquiry from an inappropriate tenant, they can cancel it. We make this extremely simple (I hope!), even though instances of this are rare and mostly theoretical. There isn’t any downside to a landlord having to cancel an application, other than the effort of the button click itself.

I did read the whole thread prior hence my continued concern. I might give openrent another go and see how it goes. I would just prefer to choose who I want to click on rent now, whilst making sure the tenant still wants to proceed so to avoid “complaints of “The landlord has asked me to proceed but I can’t!”” rather than cancelling an application and possibly losing the application altogether.

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I had an applicant click rent now, who hadn’t viewed the property.

It didn’t bother me. I had time to consider the applicants enquiry along with all the rest, and a few days later when I knew who I was going to rent to I easily rejected their holding deposit, and invited my preferable applicant to place hers.

Was very simple, and easy to use.

Well here’s one detail that perhaps someone can explain to me. After about 15 applications to view, I only ever managed to talk with just one tenant. All the rest simply fell silent. I am baffled.

Do you know the source of the enquiries? Were you able to see their phone and email address?

Some sources of enquiries will not have an email address so if you were to reply via openrent messaging system they wouldn’t have received it.

May have changed since I last used but this was previously an issue for me.

Re: “if you were to reply via openrent messaging system they wouldn’t have received it.”
Well that would explain this utterly crazy situation.
Clearly Openrent is totally unfit for purpose.

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@Paul103 If there’s no email addresses on their enquiry. IE some are just voicemail messages.

You need to check to see if there’s an email address.

May have changed since I last used

I couldn’t agree more. It’s up to us landlords who lives in our properties so we should be the only party authorised to send a link for the deposit to be paid - rather than Open Rent allowing any random stranger - from anywhere in the world - to put a deposit down - even if they’ve never spoken to us or viewed the property!

I’m becoming less impressed with Open Rent each time I use them. The Referencing service used is also becoming (without meaning to sound dramatic) shocking! Today I had a tenant pass… Rentguard report said 30k income confirmed (their only evidence being that their employer - his brother - said “yep, he works for me and earns 30k” - they didn’t check anything to back it up). The report also gave me ONE MONTH of address history, ONE MONTH of employment (with no evidence of said employment)… it’s a pass!!!. No info on how long bank account held. No payslips, proof of previous income, no checks on their previous addres - NOTHING checked - and they’ve passed. Gobsmacked.

So anyone can come to the UK for a few weeks can get a random mate to say “they work for me” and pass credit checks with zero address/income proof. Wow Open Rent / Rentguard… just wow!

(Apologies, my rant is going off topic, but I just feel that things are becoming so sloppy it needs to be heard!)

While I think Open Rent is a fantastic platform for us landlords. It’s hugely convenient and a great way to guide us and prevent mistakes (e.g. forgetting gas safety, submitting Right to Rent Guide etc. A place to store documents and evidence things have been done should an issue arise and so on). Regardless of this, it is putting us landlords at risk with sloppy referencing. This needs to be heard.

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Russell Comes down to this . Check it all yourself. Tell the applicant a month s history is no good , you need at least a year. No proof , no renting

Oh yes, of course I’ve rejected the application based on the fact there are no statements and proof of income. I just don’t see the point in referencing if Rentguard are happy to pass based on zero information.

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The problem with unsolicited RENT NOW applications is not that they come but they give the Landlord a deadline to decide what to do with it. I have twice now had someone click the rent now application very quickly after I placed the advert and before I did any viewings . The first one was not even interested in the property and if I had accepted as a new OPEN RENT Landlord feeling pressured by the deadline it would have automatically cancelled other booked viewings and cancelled my advert. But as I was still working out how open rent and rent now worked - it did feel like it was workign against me rather than helping me in the process of letting the flat. Rejecting the application put the applicant off and they didn’t even view or ask for an online viewing which I offered.

The second time I contacted the applicant and were keen to continue but felt a bit embarrassed they had made a mistake by pressing the big button.

I’m sure the intention is not to confuse and frustrate landlords and confuse and embarrass tenants ?
.

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When I advertise through OpenRent I put in very large prominent letters please do not press the Rent Now button until it has been mutually agreed
If someone does, they just get an immediate rejection.

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