Help on who to take forward to referencing

I advertised my property only a couple of days ago and have been inundated with viewing requests (most of who pass the initial screening questions) Some prospective tenants obviously tick my boxes more than others but any advice how to shortlist please.
I’ve paused the advert for the time being …
I’m trying to be fair, 1st come, first refusal etc but I’m worried if I do it like this then I may lose a potential good tenant
Do you reference more than one person at a time and then make a decision or do you in the main just go for one person … it’s seriously stressing me out so any tips would be so welcome

Do not go on first come first served. Those who tick the boxes best, ask for proof of what tey say . Do block viewings and then decide who to reference .You will be surprised how this will wittle it down


Definitely not first come first served. You chose the best tenant based on income, job security, pets, children etc. and your gut instinct.

Maybe email a further detailed questionnaire asking for more detail including salary (be clear if you’re asking for gross or net) where they work etc. Tell them how much they have to earn to pass credit reference. I now add a bit on to the standard so work on monthly rent x 3.5 x 12. Eg, if rent is £950, they need £950 x 3.5 x 12 = £39900 salary. I do all this and I offer two or three slots when I offer viewings, eg Sat 2-7pm, Sun 8am-11am and Mon 9-5 amd I ask which they could come to.

If you’ve 30 tenants waiting this process will probably bring them down to 5 or 6!! And you’ll probably get at least 1 abusive response as to how dare you ask for such a high income. Remember it doesn’t matter, it’s part of the process to get the right tenant. As landlords now we have to jump through so many hoops but we can be choosy because there are a lot of people looking.

We turned down a prospective tenants whose work was an hour and a half commute because we thought they would get fed up and move on quickly.

Good luck


Here’s what I do in OpenRent:

Go to Manage | Dashboard

Then select User Details | Advanced Settings | Tenant Pre-Screening Preferences

Turn Default Screening off.

Paste a message in the Tenant Auto-Reply box. This will be automatically sent to prospective tenants when they first message you.

I use the following auto reply text:

Thank you for your enquiry.

The next steps are:

  1. I will arrange a phone call with you to get to know you better and give you the chance to ask questions about the flat. Please send me your phone number if it isn’t already in your OpenRent profile.

  2. If the call goes well, I will send a Prospective Tenant Information Form for you to complete.

  3. I will arrange viewings for people who return a satisfactory Information Form.

  4. I will obtain References and conduct Credit Checks prior to renting the property.

Many thanks



I find that setting out my process from the start is a very effective way of weeding out time wasters. If someone is truly interested in the flat, they will engage well in the phone call and, more importantly, fill in my Tenant Information Form. I compare the information they write in the form with what they told me during the phone call. If there are any discrepancies (i.e lies), then I remove them immediately.

I had over 50 enquiries and was easily able to whittle these down to a short list of three solid candidates to view the property.


Thank you so much for this, sound advice

Keep it simple,
those that pass screening you need to meet in person on viewing.
Any you dont like or have reservations about dump them
Select the best and get a holding deposit.
Reference them , if something comes up like CCj ( assuming you asked the question on your screening questions )dump them and keep deposit.
Next applicant please


Elizabeth - this is really helpful. May I ask the £39,000 salary you quote is that gross salary before tax?

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