Prescreening questions

Just wondering about the openrent pre-screening questions. I have used these a few times and only get patchy responses. I am thinking of amending to try and improve responses and the quality of people viewing.

One major issue is affordability. What are the views on specifying in the prescreening income/rent ratios (eg 30%)? It might help weed a few more people out and make it less confrontational than me telling them they can’t afford it. On the other hand some people may use that and then just quote an income that covers the rent? I had a nice lady I accepted last time, quoted income 40K, income after referencing 13K. I didn’t proceed but I still have to pay for referencing and lose time with the listing.

I have had a few people over the last couple of years that tell me they use openrent as it is easier to get a property than through an agent! They usually lose interest when you say you will require referencing so those are easy to weed out! It does highlight the need to take care and do proper referencing.

Opinions appreciated.


Last time I had one up for rent, I did an auto reply asking for more information (eg full names of all potential tenants, income, employment status, any CCJs) and pointing out that, if the information provided was inaccurate and they failed referencing as a result, they could lose their holding deposit.

That seemed to weed out some time wasters because quite a few didn’t reply.

Those that replied but ignored some of the questions also got rejected because if they can’t answer simple questions, I don’t want them as tenants.

I do what Cath does above

OK thanks for that. Interestingly I don’t necessarily demand answers to all my questions upfront. We generally aim and succeed in ending up with tenants on 40K plus earned income otherwise issues are likely to arise. If all the questions are answered then that is great but very few do. This is my latest iteration of what I ask:

Thanks for your interest.
Just to confirm, we do not normally take pets. There is parking for only one car (no commercial vehicles) and it is worth adding that we would normally expect the rent to be less than 30% of the income as verified by the reference checking company. I mention these points just to be clear. Hope you understand!
I also have a few standard questions first please.
• How many people will move into the property?
• What is your relation to any co-tenants?
• What rent are you paying in your current property?
• The rent is £1100. How will you pay the rent? (i.e. employed income, self-employed income, savings, benefits, someone else will pay, etc.)
• Can you provide a guarantor if required?
• Can you provide past landlord and employer references if required?
I look forward to hearing from you

Posted this in Aug 21—Hope it helps a little.
Use this as a start, you will find many will crash out at this stage.
Hi, thanks for your interest in the flat, I would be obliged if you will forward a few details about yourself i.e. your name are you in permanent full time employment , are you renting now and is the flat just for yourself, can you provide a guarantor****can you provide proof of earnings .
You may wonder about asking their name, there are a good few that don’t give their name in the first instance.

Very true re the name. Even then, I had one that came to look round, having told me it was just her and her child looking to rent, with her husband. That didn’t do their chances in the later assessment of having to choose one of the 4 sets of potential tenants that viewed that all wanted the property.

What I would really like to do is an IQ test :rofl:

I have had some who haven’t given their names and when I have asked they said they will give it if they want to take the property. Those are easy - instant rejection

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