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OpenRent

Covering Market, Trends, and Practical (but see LEMON-AID for Building & DIY)
Mike4
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OpenRent

#323183

Postby Mike4 » July 2nd, 2020, 9:00 am

As my portfolio matures I find that one by one, each of the houses acquires a really long term tenant and 'tenant churn' halts. Consequently I'm using local letting agents for tenant-finding services less and less. The letting agent I used to use for a great tenant-finding service has got comfy and complacent and messed me about royally last time I had a tenant change, so I won't be using them again.

Another landlord I know recommended OpenRent.co.uk. Before using them I thought I'd ask on here if anyone uses them and has an experience or comments. They are an on-line tenant-finding service subscribing to Zoopla, Rightmove etc for marketing their properties and claim to be doing it different and better than high street letting agents, yadda yadda. But are they right? Are they doing it better? Has anyone here used them? What was your impression?

Many thanks.

James
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Re: OpenRent

#323207

Postby James » July 2nd, 2020, 10:18 am

I only have one property that I rent but I've used OpenRent for the last two tenancies there. In London at least it appears to be popular with people looking for flats and I got far more interest from it than the previous outlets I'd used. The process is very straight forward and everything can be done online smoothly. I'm happy to use it and would recommend it to others.

GSD82
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Re: OpenRent

#329198

Postby GSD82 » July 28th, 2020, 1:54 pm

Hi,

I have used openrent for the last 6 years. It is more time consuming as you spend time showing potential tenants around. The benefit is without the expensive percentage deductions by estate agents you can offer a cheaper rent while taking more home.

The other advantage is that the contract and tenancy checks they do are very cheap and good quality.

I would advise asking potential tenants quite a few questions prior to viewings to help filter out those not suitable.

Gups

ThomasLee
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Re: OpenRent

#367333

Postby ThomasLee » December 18th, 2020, 11:35 am

I'd say shop around and look at all options for private landlords. Some more options:

propertyloop.co.uk/become-owner/overview
gumtree.com/property-to-rent

rthak
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Re: OpenRent

#367571

Postby rthak » December 18th, 2020, 11:11 pm

I’ve now used twice and both times ended up with long term tenants paying more in rent than the agent said could be achieved. Not to mention the much lower fees!

I should say that in both circumstances however I’ve taken on tenants which might not strictly tick all the boxes an agent might require such as a falling behind on payments/arrangements with historic creditors.

For me it’s about analysing all the information, checking the story stands up to scrutiny, ensuring the rent is actually affordable for the tenant (so looking at bank statements in depth) and taking some rent guarantee insurance in case things don’t go as planned (which by the way for the price you pay is a must have as it pays for itself even for one missed rent payment).

Touch wood a payment has never been missed (and the once the payment was late they called me to explain why (fraud on account) and it turned up the next day as promised).

Lootman
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Re: OpenRent

#367574

Postby Lootman » December 18th, 2020, 11:18 pm

I am not a landlord any more but back when I did that (32 years,15 properties and over 100 tenants) I would never use a service to select or manage tenants. Apart from the fee that agents take, they can never duplicate the "feel" that I can develop for a tenant by actually meeting and interviewing them. And you learn so much in doing that about who not to rent to (in my experience union members, lawyers and people who identify as victims or are overly concerned with their "rights").

There are so many bad actors out there that I need to vet them personally. And in all that time I never had a rent default and only had to evict once,

Do it yourself.

MrFoolish
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Re: OpenRent

#369001

Postby MrFoolish » December 23rd, 2020, 8:30 am

Lootman wrote:And you learn so much in doing that about who not to rent to (in my experience union members, lawyers and people who identify as victims or are overly concerned with their "rights").


This sounds more like a hobbyhorse rant than practical advice. Or did you actually ask them if they were union members or victims?

Lootman
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Re: OpenRent

#369142

Postby Lootman » December 23rd, 2020, 1:56 pm

MrFoolish wrote:
Lootman wrote:And you learn so much in doing that about who not to rent to (in my experience union members, lawyers and people who identify as victims or are overly concerned with their "rights").

This sounds more like a hobbyhorse rant than practical advice. Or did you actually ask them if they were union members or victims?

If you are genuinely interested in my methods then I could tell you. I am not sure that you are given the "rant" remark. But in general the application process includes questions about occupation and memberships of organisations, whilst the in-person interview allows knowledge to be gained about an applicant's beliefs and values, and inferences made from that. Knock it if you want but it worked over a period of 32 years.

dealtn
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Re: OpenRent

#369175

Postby dealtn » December 23rd, 2020, 3:18 pm

Lootman wrote:
MrFoolish wrote:
Lootman wrote:And you learn so much in doing that about who not to rent to (in my experience union members, lawyers and people who identify as victims or are overly concerned with their "rights").

This sounds more like a hobbyhorse rant than practical advice. Or did you actually ask them if they were union members or victims?

If you are genuinely interested in my methods then I could tell you. I am not sure that you are given the "rant" remark. But in general the application process includes questions about occupation and memberships of organisations, whilst the in-person interview allows knowledge to be gained about an applicant's beliefs and values, and inferences made from that. Knock it if you want but it worked over a period of 32 years.


It makes sense to me. Genuine tenants aren't concerned about wishing to meet and chat with a potential landlord. You don't need that conversation to be about political affiliations, or leanings, to discover a bit about the type of person they are, and whether the relationship is likely to work or be potentially difficult.

johnhemming
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Re: OpenRent

#369178

Postby johnhemming » December 23rd, 2020, 3:31 pm

I let out rooms in my offices to licencees for commercial purposes. My main objective is to minimise hassle so I do not charge a lot. When I get a vacancy I normally advertise it (paid advert about a tenner) in Gumtree. I do, however, want to talk to them. I use two of the offices myself and I want people I can get on with OK.

MrFoolish
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Re: OpenRent

#369206

Postby MrFoolish » December 23rd, 2020, 4:27 pm

Lootman wrote:
MrFoolish wrote:
Lootman wrote:And you learn so much in doing that about who not to rent to (in my experience union members, lawyers and people who identify as victims or are overly concerned with their "rights").

This sounds more like a hobbyhorse rant than practical advice. Or did you actually ask them if they were union members or victims?

If you are genuinely interested in my methods then I could tell you. I am not sure that you are given the "rant" remark. But in general the application process includes questions about occupation and memberships of organisations, whilst the in-person interview allows knowledge to be gained about an applicant's beliefs and values, and inferences made from that. Knock it if you want but it worked over a period of 32 years.


Fair enough. Out of interest, was the one person you had to evict the union member, the lawyer, the victim or the person concerned about their rights?

Lootman
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Re: OpenRent

#369208

Postby Lootman » December 23rd, 2020, 4:31 pm

dealtn wrote:
Lootman wrote:in general the application process includes questions about occupation and memberships of organisations, whilst the in-person interview allows knowledge to be gained about an applicant's beliefs and values, and inferences made from that. Knock it if you want but it worked over a period of 32 years.

It makes sense to me. Genuine tenants aren't concerned about wishing to meet and chat with a potential landlord. You don't need that conversation to be about political affiliations, or leanings, to discover a bit about the type of person they are, and whether the relationship is likely to work or be potentially difficult.

Yes, there are indirect ways of getting people to reveal themselves, often during the more informal parts of the interview, which are just as important.

johnhemming wrote:I let out rooms in my offices to licencees for commercial purposes. My main objective is to minimise hassle so I do not charge a lot. When I get a vacancy I normally advertise it (paid advert about a tenner) in Gumtree. I do, however, want to talk to them. I use two of the offices myself and I want people I can get on with OK.

I mostly agree but I do not believe that charging less rent leads to "less hassle". Poorer applicants can behave more desperately. But charging less than the absolute max you can get certainly gives you a bigger pool of applicants to be picky about.

Mike4
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Re: OpenRent

#369244

Postby Mike4 » December 23rd, 2020, 5:30 pm

Lootman wrote:I mostly agree but I do not believe that charging less rent leads to "less hassle". Poorer applicants can behave more desperately. But charging less than the absolute max you can get certainly gives you a bigger pool of applicants to be picky about.


The main advantage of charging a bit less rent than the market will bear is tenants tend to stay for longer, I always used to think. I'm not so sure now if it's true though. The major hassle of actually packing up all your stuff and moving it to a different home is a significant discouragement too.

johnhemming
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Re: OpenRent

#369253

Postby johnhemming » December 23rd, 2020, 5:39 pm

Mike4 wrote:The main advantage of charging a bit less rent

My licencees are commercial operations and there is less security of tenure than private rented (a month's notice either way). However, I find that people tend to stay for quite a while. They understand that my priority lies other than as being a landlord and although I went to the christmas party of one company today they don't create much work for me. I don't count that as work really even if it is work related. Most of my time is spent on writing software and developing a new business around that.

ptr120
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Re: OpenRent

#371713

Postby ptr120 » December 31st, 2020, 3:56 pm

As a previous tenant Openrent is a good thing as it allows you to bypass agents that add no value and are simply messengers between you and the property owner. IME you also have less chance of finding out that your deposit has been unprotected.

Trebor123
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Re: OpenRent

#375500

Postby Trebor123 » January 10th, 2021, 3:02 pm

Lootman wrote:I am not a landlord any more but back when I did that (32 years,15 properties and over 100 tenants) I would never use a service to select or manage tenants. Apart from the fee that agents take, they can never duplicate the "feel" that I can develop for a tenant by actually meeting and interviewing them. And you learn so much in doing that about who not to rent to (in my experience union members, lawyers and people who identify as victims or are overly concerned with their "rights").

There are so many bad actors out there that I need to vet them personally. And in all that time I never had a rent default and only had to evict once,

Do it yourself.


I agree. Openrent is a great addition but they don't handle viewings, i prefer to do that myself anyway. I self manage and meeting prospective tenants is an essential part of the letting process for me. The Openrent format is easy to use and you only pay for the parts that you want and add on. I have used them several times and think it's a very good service and great value for money


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