Openrent threat to cancel viewings

I am a ‘good faith’ landlord first attracted to OR by the absence of fees charged to tenants; two of my children are renters too. So I’m stung when I recieved an email from OR threatening to cancel my viewings if I don’t reply to all applicants (I had already replied to all albeit only by an automated message to some). Essentially it seems OR wish me to give a viewing to every applicant that meets the basic qualifying criteria rather than me being able to select from a swathe of applicants. This would be unhelpful both to applicants and myself as it would result in either me seeing an unnecessarily large number of people, or my having to cancel individual viewings as better applications were received - being realistic it’s a beauty pageant not a first-past-the-post race. What do others think (and could responders make clear whether they’re a landlord themselves please)?


I dont think it’s unreasonable to expect a response to a tenants enquiry. There’s nothing forcing you to arrange viewings for tenants you dont want so either say they dont meet criteria(being careful about discrimination) or normally best just to say you already have multiple viewings booked and arent arranging more at this time.


agree it costs nothing to be polite . you can say " sorry I cannot help you "


Richard, thanks for replying. I did reply to the applicants. I can’t have made myself clear: when an applicant responds it’s not necessarily yes/no binary - they may meet basic criteria but beyond that there are degrees of desirability - as more applications are received a ‘league table’ is formed. How can I decide whether to see applicant 1 when I haven’t yet received applications 2 to 20 to compare?

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You dont need to respond immediately. 24-48 hours is perfectly reasonable. Normally you will get most applicants within first 48 hours of listing so at this point you can have your list for first set of viewings. I would normally have 4 or 5 viewings. For those borderline applicants that don’t make the first cut you just say you arent arranging more viewings at this time but you will let them know if it is still available after the viewings you have organised. For those that clearly arent suitable just tell them you cant help them.


In my part of the country, and currently anyway, ‘most’ applications do not arrive in the first 48 hours - it’s a steady dribble for as long as advertised.

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In my advert I make it clear that I will not respond unless prospective tenants fully complete a pre screening questionnaire.
I have had the odd message from OpenRent if someone has tried to chase me up but I firmly reiterate my criteria and that is that. OpenRent cannot force you to do anything.


You’re arguing for something that’s not in your interest. If you don’t reply fairly promptly, people lose interest and go elsewhere. Its a fast moving market in general. A well constructed holding response that tells them you’ll be back in touch with a further reply shortly should be enough.

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. . . . which is exactly what was in by auto-reply David. Only one would-be tenant withdrew their interest btw (of 30).

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Hi Paul, you can always put the Ad “on hold” [as opposed to “cancelled”] once you’ve received x No of applicants - to allow you time to process them first. If no one suitable, then reinstate it (take of “off old”).

I think a lot of people are missing the point and not addressing OR’s threat of cancelling all viewings based on some arbitrary communication thresholds they’ve placed. This seems like poor product design and can be better solved in less harsh ways. They should have a UX researcher/designer rework this one. Some ways other platforms solve this is by introducing a rating system for the landlord with subcategories, some of which can be system automated such as responsiveness. Or an automated system message informing both parties that the enquiry will be auto-cancelled due to inactivity. This is in addition to existing OR tooling such as auto-responses set by the landlord.

Surgi, I’d rather given up on this thread - you’re the first person to understand my point. I don’t know if it’s a product design issue though. I’d expect an online lettings agency to facilitate the coming together of actors in the market in an even-handed way. OR though contains a number of irritatingly pro-tenant biases which mean that I’ll be looking at other platforms in future.

I have a set of 20 screen questions on my auto reply, along with very clear criteria requirements on my ad.

This still generates a massive amount of enquiries. My rent is certainly not too low. Majority of enquiries are unsuitable for one reason or another, usually affordability.

I am currently approaching the arbitrary 100 number and have yet to find a tenant I want. I agree there needs to be a better solution to the problem.

Openrent have to maintain quality and make sure landlords reply to enquiries in a timely manner otherwise tenants will lose faith in their product, but it cannot be at the expense of the Ll.

I am not overly concerned as I will just create a new ad and pay the fee, but it’s not the right solution.

There does need to be some kind of stick poking to the landlord to keep them on their toes, but the 100 cut off isn’t the answer, for a start it’s not even clear that there is this limit until late in the day.

OR has this one already (landlord response rate).

This is a good idea.

I don’t think that ‘timely’ responding is sufficient for OR (I had actuated an auto-response anyway). What OR seem to want is a decision within 48 hours on whether to give an applicant a viewing - this is not in my best interest (nor the applicant ultimately), and it’s me who’s paying for the service not the applicant.

I seriously dislike the way OR drives tenants to leave a deposit, after the viewing. Happened multiple times, in fact even before viewing had taken place. Their explanation is nonsense.

The real reason of course is to get LL to use the rent now service, and the higher costs that go with it. (It is a business after all so I can’t knock them too much).

I think the momentum is required when dealing with applicants. I think the handling of the replies to keep them at bay while being assessed before viewing takes can be managed ok with the right generic message.

While I’m at it - tenants think I have nearly 20 properties due to the number of adverts I’ve placed altogether, it isn’t clear that’s it’s nothing to do with number of properties owned!

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