How to Deal with Too Many Tenant Enquiries as a Landlord

Originally published at: How to Deal with Too Many Tenant Enquiries as a Landlord | OpenRent Landlord Hub

With tenant demand consistently on the rise, many landlords are overwhelmed by the high volume of enquiries they receive. The ongoing imbalance between supply and demand in the UK’s private rental sector remains pronounced, with landlords facing an exceptional level of interest in their rentals immediately upon listing. Our data reveals that OpenRent landlords are…

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When enquiries were consistently a fraction of what they currently are, the arbitrary 100 enquiry limit was deemed appropriate.

Given the surge of the typical number of enquiries surely this figure should now be increased to reflect this, especially given the number of complaints on this forum about this limitation? Perhaps you could “embrace” this much needed change? :grinning:

Hi Mark -

Looking at the latest data from last month, vs previous years, the actual number of people hitting this limit hasn’t really changed. Neither has the number of enquiries it takes to rent a property (on average). There is effectively a surge in tenant demand when a property is first listed, but that causes properties to be let more quickly rather than an overall increase in the number of enquiries. The average number of enquiries before a property is let still sits around 15, but the time to let has come down fairly significantly (35%+).

The fact that the number of people hitting this limit hasn’t gone up in the face of unprecedented tenant demand tells us that the fair usage limit is probably around right, as to not impact legitimate and well intentioned landlords, whilst still preventing abuse from users who might:

  • Try and harvest tenant enquiries for a variety of illegitimate reasons
  • Have unclear / hidden restrictions for their properties resulting in 99+ disappointed tenants
  • Attempt to advertise multiple properties from a single advert (against not only our terms, but our agreements with portal partners)
  • etc

There are always going to be tenants applying, who aren’t suitable, or who find a different property in the meantime, so we have to find a balance here. Currently that balance lands around 100 fully fledged viewing requests, but we do monitor this number to ensure it’s only impacting a tiny number of landlords who aren’t following our guidance or are breaking our rules. For anyone who legitimately gets caught up in this (there are always rare exceptions to any rule), we’re always happy to review their particular circumstances and see what’s happened. For the rest, hitting this rule is a strong signal that there is a significant problem that needs addressing.

I’ve had a look at your account, and can see you’ve never hit this fair use limit, even though you did receive a large amount of enquiries last time you advertised! Hopefully it’s clear we do need a limit, and we need to protect the platform as a whole so it best serves all landlords and tenants using it legitimately.

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Thank you Daz, very well explained. The stats don’t lie!

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I would still get rid of the whole voice message thing as it is in fact very unfair to prospective tenants. they think they have made a valid reply when from LL perspective the only valid reply is to answer all the screening questions. as a result, anyone leaving a voice message is disadvantaged. in fact, i never respond to any as so far I have never had one that answered my screening questions.

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My experience is that the higher the number of leads, the lower the quality. It wasn’t any faster to rent my flat out with 100 enquiries as with 8, as when it is an active market (as it is currently) tenants act before they think. I had no less than four tenants say they wanted my place and go into referencing, for them to pull out for various reasons which they would have known prior.

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I agree with Graham. I certainly got the impression that the people leaving voicemails were those that didn’t meet the criteria.

so far the only real enquiry I received was someone who left a vm. Almost all others are agencies pretending to be tenants. How do I prevent them from enquiring?

You can’t stop them from enquiring, they should not count towards the 100 limit - OR should find a way

Can you block them on open rent?

According to Daz the 100 limit is barely ever reached. I expect LL could contact OR to review if clear evidence of abuse.

I can understand why a limit is in place - it encourages landlords to deal with replies quicker and stay on top of things better, effectively the clock is ticking.

Not perfect by any means.

once I know they are an agent yes. A lot of them ask if it’s available then immediately ask to speak by phone which I have refused to do so far. Am I missing out opportunities from genuine tenant requests?

Who knows ? One thing I do know is that once your phone number is out there ,you will be pestered

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