Openrent Packages: Thoughts On Openrent's Referencing, Deposit Protection, Legals etc

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    #16
    Thanks so much.

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      #17
      Openrent are a fabulous service, efficient and very cheap. I would not recommend for a first time landlord but for all those weather-worn owners out there I would highly recommend. Also their add on services eg referencing, electrical checks etc are amazingly cheap and do the job.

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        #18
        We use OpenRent only for advertising. We found their rent now service confusing for everyone and that it has virtually no control for the landlord in terms of when things are issued to applicants. We do all the other paperwork ourselves once we've found a tenant who meets our criteria. We use an edited version of the government's AST on gov.uk.

        Here's something we've found very useful: OpenRent allows you to set up an autoresponse to any enquiry. We set one up that welcomes their interest and asks them to phone us to chat about their situation. We stipulate that we give priority to those applicants that do phone us v those that don't. This really helps to sort out those who are on the ball re communication. It also means we don't have to keep looking at OpenRent messaging. We can just sit back and wait for applicants to call. Much easier.

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          #19
          Ive just done my first tenant through OpenRent.

          I initially used the £29 advertising to get on Rightmove - whilst also advertising free on RoomShare (I have bedsit type self contained units for 1 person in each, so lower end of the market lol).

          I get far more enquiries from RoomShare but 99% are time-wasters (though my first tenant was found via them a year ago and is still with me)

          I send an Initial Rental Enquiry to all potential renters before viewing.

          On this occassion, OpenRent got me the tenant via Rightmove.

          Given a good first impression, I chose the add-on service to prepare and perform the Tenancy Agreement and linked that to the £20 Referencing.

          HOWEVER, I did find the whole OpenRent system to be confusing - not knowing what was happening and who had been sent what and when.

          Yes, I did get emails but there is no FORMAT to their dashboard.

          I would like to see a Checklist shown, together with clear info on what email was sent when and to whom, all documents and forms sent (when and to whom) etc etc ALL ON ONE PAGE.

          What has now happened is Ive had to find the documents within the dashboard and account pages - and now Ive found them, Ive simply downloaded them into a desktop folder.

          Basically, their cluttered system has resulted in me having everything on my desktop and I question whether I will need to use their service from now on.

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            #20
            Thanks so much for these very insightful tips.
            I've had good interest from Openrent including one who used it to pay the deposit when we hadn't had a thorough discussion.
            I posted on Facebook 2 days ago and also got lots of interest including a couple and their friend. They came for an extended discussion last night and then paid the deposit. I shall now proceed with all the checks once they submit all the docs. They are living with the sister of the 3rd tenant. She'll be providing refs as current LL. The 3rd tenant lived with his brother in Italy previously and the couple with the guy's parents so they will provide refs. Although all their previous renting was family I feel comfortable with them. They'll also provide work refs.
            As I got these within 24hrs of posting on FB and my experience on OR I'll go ahead to arrange it all outside OR.

            Which referencing and credit score agencies are best to use please?

            Feeling very excited that I'm now about to be a LL.

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              #21
              Originally posted by Delectable1 View Post
              including a couple and their friend.
              Doesn't this now make your property a HMO?

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                #22
                Delectable1,

                Sorry - but I would run a mile from a setup like that.

                I would want verifiable tenancy checks not just a nod from family eager to see the back of them.

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                  #23
                  There's a big demand for "couple and their friend" tenancies.
                  But, because of the HMO regulations, they're almost impossible to let to.

                  The modifications required for most properties to meet HMO regulations aren't usually worth the effort.
                  Let alone the difficulties with insurance, mortgages and, possibly, planning.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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                    #24
                    The couple and friend currently live together with the friend's sister. The couple and friend will live as one household. This isn't HMO but even if I was renting to them separately they'll be 2 households. That isn't HMO either. Perhaps I am mistaken. Please enlighten me.

                    The couple are not related to the landlady. She rented the house for herself and her brother and rented out a room to the couple who met the brother (3rd tenant) at work. Another brother has moved in so they feel crowded is the reason they wish to move. To me, it's totally understandable. If I move to a foreign country I'll be inclined to stay with my sister and if it got crowded I could move with friends to share a flat. Does this mean tenants who have rented a whole flat privately and not looking to share with friends are the best tenants?
                    They insist they have to give her a month's notice so it seems she's being professional about it. I'll check their bank statements, payslips as well and can visit their current address to see how they live .

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by Delectable1 View Post
                      The couple and friend will live as one household.
                      A friend isn't a relationship that includes someone in a household.
                      What you will have there is one couple (who will be one household) and their friend.
                      This isn't HMO but even if I was renting to them separately they'll be 2 households.
                      It doesn't matter whether you rent to them together or separately, they aren't one houshold and that makes it an HMO

                      It's not a large HMO (which requires 5 people in more than one household) which is usually where licensing is required, but it still requires the basic HMO regulations to be followed.
                      It may be that your local authority has its own additional licensing requirements in place.

                      The basic regulations require things that most normal homes don't have to have, like wired in and maintained fire alarms and fire retardant internal doors.

                      It's nothing to do with you, but, if the five people in their current arrangement share some facilities or space their current set up is also an HMO, but, because it's got five people in it, would need to be licensed.
                      If the three people or just the couple who want to rent your house move out, it will cease to be an HMO at all, because it will have three people living there who are the same family and can therefore live as a single household.



                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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                        #26
                        sorry, what? you took a deposit before you'd even run any credit checks? Did I read that wrong?

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                          #27
                          You're right it is a HMO but not a large HMO. https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/h...ple-occupation
                          I see requirements for LHMO but not for HMO. I shall consider returning their holding deposit and edit ad to read suitable for family or couples only instead.
                          Thanks.

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                            #28
                            All the HMO Management Regulations apply to smaller HMOs and in some areas the Council insist on licensing them

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