OpenRent Community

How to reject a tenant

I’m posting this in hope that other landlords can relate and could provide advice. Some time ago I was contacted by a tenant regarding a property and their manner was incredibly pushy that it really didn’t give me a good feeling so I cancelled the viewing. They contacted me some time later for a different property and at first I didn’t realise it was the same person so I said I’d get back to them but later on I realised who it was. I avoided engaging with them again but they still repeatedly phoned and texted me, and contacted via OpenRent.

Most of you who have been in the rental business long enough most likely know how it feels to get a gut feeling about a person and know that you just wouldn’t want to rent to them. I haven’t formally rejected the person because I know that if I did they would continue to pursue me to try to find out why they were rejected. How would you reject someone like this if they don’t seem to get the message?

In a first contact i never give my phone number… Our gut feeling is the way to go. Formally reject them , Block on your phone and just dont talk to them . They will get tired in the end and find elsewhere. I reject by saying “sorry I cannot help you”… and thats it… they get no more than that


I had this a while back. I had left the ‘DSS Accepted’ switch set to no because I’d used a previous ad as a template. The call was someone who was very pushy and keen to say that the rent would be paid by UC. I said I’d get back to him and eventually rang-off, but a few minutes later I had a very similar call from someone who spoke with a different accent, but I would swear it was the same guy. He had a different story but was also looking to pay the rent through his benefits. I was deeply suspicious that these people were from Generation Rent or Shelter or somewhere similar, looking for test cases to use against a landlord.

1 Like

‘Sorry, I can’t help you’ works for me


I always put on mine now that referencing must be passed to obtain rent guarantee. That really is end of story.


It’s hard isn’t it. You get that gut feeling and don’t want to engage with them at all. My favourite responses are ‘‘I’m sorry, we have shortlisted two applicants and are conducting referencing. If anything falls through, I’ll get back to you’’. Or sometimes I use, ‘‘I’m sorry but my husband has just offered the property to one of his friends, if that doesn’t work out, I will let you know’’.
Never, never ignore your gut feeling…


Personaly i like to have a chat on the phone before letting a person view a property. i also let everyone know from the start that ive had lots of interest and the most suitable tennants will go through to the referencing stage… if they pass ALL the feferencing then its my personal choice to who i choose…


I tell the prospective - enquiring tenant tat I’m arranging a Block viewing and when I have details, I’ll let them know. ( Never intending to call them or answer a call from them, other than to tell them its been let. )

1 Like

I don’t see why you need to fear such enquiries. Simply advertise with the requirement for rent and bond to be paid in advance and that a financially independent guarantor will be required. If they can satisfy all those requirements and appear decent responsible people, why not consider them.

There are some genuine cases, as well as the hoards of chancers, you just need a system and intuition to find the deserving cases.

1 Like

No one is fearing enquiries like this. I’ve already advertised with all your suggestions and the point is that I dont want to be doing viewings especially in the middle of a lockdown if I dont get a good gut feeling about the person. I could easily tell them to get lost but I don’t want to be rude hence the question.

I appreciate that not all landlords cater for the same market so perhaps some cannot really empathise with others in the same way. It’s easy enough for some to say that you need to do x, y, and z and it will solve your problems but the reality is that it doesn’t. I have been there were the tenants have paid the advance rents and the deposits but as they are international students they cannot provide UK guarantors and then in the end they trash the place and the costs of rectifying everything are well over the amount of deposit with no one else you can chase for the rest of the money as they all go back home at the end of tenancy. For those who have never tried to collect debt from abroad I can tell you that’s it next to impossible.

So going back to my actual question, all I’m wanting to know is how do people reject potential tenants when they are hounding you with phonecalls, text messages and contacting via openrent, and they dont seem to get the message that you dont want to rent to them. Thanks for your response anyway.

Whats wrong with my answer? If you have given your personal info out too soon then expect bother

You might have to get a bit more assertive. They are being rude by hounding you. Do they deserve your continued politeness and British inability to tell a nuisance to bog off ?

1 Like