Openrent seems to be getting too heavy handed on landlords

All - some advice/ shared experience welcome ( and Openrent team - direct feedback to you. If you do not improve, long time users like me will quit).

I have been using Openrent’s advertising only services for number of years but did not face the following two issues until about 12 months ago

A) the tenant filtering criteria seem to not work. Regardless of what I put there, I keep getting irrelevant inquiries. Is it simply a ploy by Openrent to get to the magic inquiry number of 100 to shut down the advert and get us to pay more money for renewals?

B) I keep getting threatening reminders from openrent to respond to all queries within 3 days otherwise my ad will be delisted. While I agree with the principal of prompt response to all queries, i do not see my tenants applications getting cancelled when they do not respond to even my standard filtering questions weeks after I have asked them. Btw, 90% of the tenant who apply for viewing do not respond to any basic clarification questions I may have asked but their application is still shown as pending.

I thought I was the one paying Openrent for the ad, not the tenants. Despite that, if the quality of applicants is so poor, and the quality of communication from openrent is just one sided, then may be I should go back to the old fashioned way working with my high street agent in the future. Openrent - beware, you do not want to go the PurpleBricks way. It is the landlords who are giving you the revenue.


OR have advised that they are about to release some significantly improved measures in regard to the filtering of applicants.

It only takes seconds to send a generic reply to an applicant. It doesn’t have to be tailored initially. It does seem heavy handed but I see the value in maintaining high standards and reducing the numbers of calls/queries OR receive from impatient tenants.

Quality of applicants has fell massively I agree, hopefully the new screening measures will help.

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I agree Mark about timely response/ auto response. My issue is it just seems one sided. Most of the tenants do not bother responding to any queries/ responses asked by LL ( I have seen that gripe here by many others). However, OR does not seem to be doing anything chasing those irresponsive tenants or cancelling their application. Communication has to be two sided


Totally agree. I do not respond well to the scolding from OpenRent. Some guy leaves a 5 sec voicemail with zero information and I am meant to respond to that ? No.


If you don’t want to respond based on the information the tenant has provided (or has refused to provide), that’s OK too - you can click to decline their enquiry. You won’t be penalised for declining tenants, as it makes it clear to the applicant you’re not going to proceed with them. This is in stark contrast to simply ignoring their messages / request to view. Perhaps we need to explain this better and improve communications here - if you have any examples of emails from us where this wasn’t a clear option, do let me know and I’ll get it looked at.

Tenant behaviour has certainly been changing in the last year or so, and we need to adapt to that, I totally agree. Our expectation is of course that tenants respond to messages / turn up to viewings / etc - but if our current measures are no longer working and need to be stricter, this is something we need to look at.

Having said that, landlords can decline enquiries as they see fit, and so we wouldn’t want to dictate rules such as “If tenant doesn’t respond in N days, enquiry is auto-rejected” in case some landlords are happy to give tenants more time. However, where tenants clearly breach the expectations (like not turning up to viewings booked in the system), we will limit their ability to apply to other properties/landlords, in order to weed out any time wasters on the platform as a whole.

This problem does seem to have become much worse in the last 12 months, and we are looking at ways to tweak our systems to make things better for everyone. As you say, it’s about both tenants and landlords meeting a basic set of expectations to ensure renting a property via OpenRent is as seamless as possible.

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Daz - you are certainly dictating to the LLs that if we do not respond to an enquiry within 48 hours, our ad will be de-listed. This is after we have paid to advertise. So why are you not dictating to the tenants that if they do not respond to a message within 48 hours, their application will be cancelled?

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Hi Netra,

Landlords not responding to tenants for over a week is often a sign of a property being let or a landlord being on holiday. We use this in combination with other flags, like your activity on the site (for example messaging tenants), as well as reports from tenants who haven’t heard from you, to know when to prompt a landlord to respond.

Looking at your account I can see for your latest advert, I can see 7 tenants informed us you hadn’t responded to them. We only allow tenants to do this if you haven’t sent a message to them in over 48 hours, haven’t declined them, haven’t booked a viewing. Basically - the tenant is reporting that they’ve not heard from you and are very keen to proceed (often they are upset with OpenRent / questioning if the property is let already).

When this happens, we notify you, and give you some time to reply. We also check how many other tenants haven’t had a response in over a week, and make it easy to respond to all such tenants in one go. If you’re away / busy / not planning to respond to tenants for a short period of time then we suggest pausing your advert. As you’ll see from your own enquiries, not responding quickly hampers your ability to actually let your property - several of the tenants who chased ultimately didn’t proceed because by the time you replied, they had secured a different property. These systems are designed to help landlord let properties after all!

So why are you not dictating to the tenants that if they do not respond to a message within 48 hours, their application will be cancelled?

Landlords are welcome to do this if they wish. We don’t enforce this, because I suspect the majority of landlords wouldn’t want it. And just to re-iterate, landlords have much longer than 48 hours before OpenRent will treat a property as let simply for not responding - in case that wasn’t clear.

We do try to explain all our reasons and why things are happening in our emails to you - if anything is ever unclear, do just hit reply and our team can help.

Having said all that - as I said in my previous message - sensible mechanisms to prevent tenants wasting the time of landlords is something we care deeply about and have partially in place already. Making these systems more robust, especially in the current market, is something we’ll continue to work on.

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