Open Rent Tenant Referencing = Opening your property up to bad tenants! | Discuss

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Open Rent Tenant Referencing = Opening your property up to bad tenants!
30/03/2016
12:10 pm
tj90
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Having recently posted about my experience with Open Rent ( here ) I want to start a new post to PROPERLY WARN ALL THE LANDLORDS OUT THERE about their referencing trickery.

After trying out Open Rent, attracted by their cheap as chips referencing, I trawled the market and did my research on tenant referencing companies and was amazed after speaking to Kenn what Tenant Referencing UK can offer for the price, so immediately joined as it is far more superior than any other company on the market.

Nonetheless I feel compelled to write about this because novice or unsuspecting landlords may be being tricked by the wording of ‘tenant referencing’. Having been a landlord for many years and suffered at the hands of countless bad tenants given to me by agents, I’ve recently broken away from my agent to be more hands on with my portfolio so it was even more important to find a company that could do as much as a letting agent but provide me with the freedom I was searching for.

Initially when I trawled through Google’s tenant referencing adverts I was constantly confronted with Open Rents speedy reference and comprehensive reference for a cheap and cheerful £20 all-in.

Take a look at their £20 ‘reference’ package page here.

And now take a look at their sample report here.

In point of fact what they’re actually offering is a simple finance report from Experian and an employers reference provided by the tenant. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but this ‘report’ is purchased from insurance company Rentguard who probably buy this wholesale from Experian for peanuts!

I have been a landlord for many years but only just realised what a true tenant reference really entails, so I need to draw attention to what a tenant reference ISN’T – and here it is! :

samplereport-1.pngImage Enlarger

 samplereport2-1.pngImage Enlarger

 samplereport3-1.pngImage Enlarger

 samplereport4-1.pngImage Enlarger

Now consider what Tenant Referencing UK can offer and you then realise that this is not a tenant reference at all but just one item of what a reference should include. Where’s the Tenant History? Have bank statements, P60, payslips and identity documents been checked? Affordability status?… All you get is a bare minimum credit type rating, contacted employer with no name(!) and landlord with no name(!)

This isn’t worth £2 let alone £20!!! It doesn’t even give details of the previous employer or their contact details either!!!

samplereport5-2.pngImage Enlarger

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Plus if you look at the insurance policies they offer, Tenant Referencing UK’s policies are considerably cheaper and offer much more for your money. So the likes of Open Rent may seem cheaper from the outset but if you dig a bit deeper you’ll see that they’re just another ‘smoke and mirrors company’ trying to sell you crap rather than properly protecting your investment.

So if you’re looking for a real tenant reference DON’T go to Open Rent – because everything you’re looking for (and much more) is right here at LandlordReferencing.co.uk, ready and waiting! Cool

Just found this through another LRS forum post, which pretty much says it all! Laugh
someonecheaper.jpeg

30/03/2016
1:16 pm
Paul Routledge
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Hi Tj90,

Thank you for your very comprehensive post.

I reply to this because it seems that all we and our members do is have a go at every other companies referencing procedures. However, the truth is like you we are trying to bring awareness to landlords and letting agents that referencing is paramount and that these basic financial reports and a couple of other references taken over the phone from god knows who are not worth tuppence.

It is so difficult to get the message over that it is actually very expensive at £20 because its true worth when trying to get a suitable tenant is nothing in fact it is downright deceitful in calling it a tenant reference in the first place. The only thing that makes it half safe is the odds and that is because the majority of tenants are good and therefore the gamble for these companies when giving you a tenant is that the majority of their reference will be ok as the majority of tenant are ok and therefore the odds are in their favour.

So they can basically give you a minimal financial report and a load of other packing around it and make £20 from you. I would not pay £3 for the reference you get from Open Rent, Rent Guard or  Experian because it really tells you nothing, it does not give you evidential proof that the tenant is telling the truth and it does not cross reference stories to prove inconsistencies. In fact, it tells you nothing at all about the person you are just about to move into you 100’s of 1000’s of pound investment. It does not even tell you if they have a right to rent in the first place.

One of our letting agent clients recently left us and went to Rent Guard because they said they passed tenants that we failed and that meant that they did not need to keep showing the property, continually. They told us “showing the property is time and money” and that is the problem right there. This letting agents view of getting tenants is becoming more the rule rather than the exception.

 

I despair at the mentality of their customer care.

30/03/2016
2:01 pm
Landlord
Guest
Guests

Thanks for the write-up – was interesting until it became clear this is really just a PR piece. I mean, how does OpenRent referencing compare to any other agent out there? Is it OpenRent referencing you’re calling out, or is it agency referencing in general? It seems the reports I’ve had from OpenRent tell me the same and if not more than a high street agent, so it’s confusing to hear you think OpenRent’s references in particular deserve this review.

It would be simpler to compare each line in their report to what *you* provide.

 

Good luck, but it seems this is about as biased a “review” as it gets…

 

 

is not a tenant reference at all
is not a tenant reference at all
30/03/2016
2:20 pm
tj90
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It is not biased or a review, it is merely an observation.

The point is: I’ve used various Letting Agents services and I’ve used Open Rents services and they both tell me the same thing: #### all!

I think you’re the one who needs good luck if you’re still using this type of ‘referencing’. Cool

30/03/2016
2:36 pm
E.Jacobs
Guest
Guests

How exactly is this biased? I find it quite factual actually.

I think anyone with two brain cells can see that tj is calling out all tenant referencing companies who claim to be offering the best reference ever, when in fact what they’re offering isn’t even a full reference.

As for letting agents (luckily) I haven’t had the misfortune to suffer at the hands of one with regards to their referencing procedures, but that’s because I’ve instructed them to use Tenant Referencing UK for everything. (I suppose that makes me biased, eh?! Wink)

This makes me wonder whether letting agents are the ones to blame here or are these types of referencing companies duping them too?… just a thought.

30/03/2016
3:12 pm
PaulBarrett
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I think about time for a tabular format of ALL referencing companies and exactly what they provide at what cost

One of those tick box formats

I can guarantee there will be more ticks than for any other provider in the LRS column!!

30/03/2016
4:30 pm
londonlandlord
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Paul B,

We have both had these references from agents and both had the carbuncle tenant that cost us thousands to cauterize.  

The problem is the rise of referencing companies being started by those who have no knowledge of the industry and hope to make a fast buck buying in stale pork pies and selling them to the naive as homemade.

What makes this website different for me is Paul R is a landlord with his own large portfolio and who knows his stuff and he sits at the desks with his team talking to members all day getting them the best deal at the best price. He is the real deal, his staff are the real deal and because of that his service is the real deal.

Truly homemade.

30/03/2016
9:00 pm
PaulBarrett
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Yep I fully agree with your contentions

The only way for LL to confirm that LRS is the real and best deal is to show all referencing companies and what they provide and at what cost and at what level of detail

Now I don’t know how many referencing operations there are out there

I reckon no more than 20

So a list of those 20 with all the detail I have suggested will certainly differentiate LRS as the vest from all the others

Any LL seeing such a table would surely choose LRS as the provider with the best setup

It surely wouldn’t take that long to research all the competition

Then LL could use LRS as a one stop shop

If they considered that other referencing operations detailed were more suitable than LRS offerings then fine

I somehow doubt whether any other referencing operation could match the LRS offering

If LRS is so confident of its position then advise LL of all those engaged in referencing and RGI etc

It would drive a lot of traffic to the site

It would give FREE advertising for those other referencing operations

Now that would be a poisoned chalice for the other referencing operations

LL would obtain a true comparison between the different referencing operations

I doubt many LL would choose LRS competitors!!!

Of course once LL are on the site they will see so much more that LRS has to offer

So I say to LRS don’t be scared of the competition

Advertise their services on here comparing with LRS

The competition won’t get much business from LRS referrals as most LL would choose the LRS products

I believe LRS can knock spots of all the competition

So let’s have an exposé on LRS of all the competition revealed in all their glory!!!!!!!!!!!!!??

That will sort the men out from the boys

I believe LRS will be the Last man standing!!!!!

31/03/2016
11:48 am
SamiiB
Somerset
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The only way for LL to confirm that LRS is the real and best deal is to show all referencing companies and what they provide and at what cost and at what level of detail

 

This is a great idea Paul. Being an ambassador of LRS maybe this is something you could undertake for us?? Wink

Senior PR Officer at TenantReferencingUK.com & Admin at NLCEuk.co.uk .

Any queries email me at:

samii@landlordreferencing.co.uk / samii.boydprice@nlceuk.co.uk or give me a call on: 0800 9994 994 (option 6).

31/03/2016
11:59 am
Paul Routledge
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Landlord

Thanks for the write-up – was interesting until it became clear this is really just a PR piece. I mean, how does OpenRent referencing compare to any other agent out there? Is it OpenRent referencing you’re calling out, or is it agency referencing in general? It seems the reports I’ve had from OpenRent tell me the same and if not more than a high street agent, so it’s confusing to hear you think OpenRent’s references in particular deserve this review. It would be simpler to compare each line in their report to what *you* provide.   Good luck, but it seems this is about as biased a “review” as it gets…    

is not a tenant reference at all

is not a tenant reference at all

 

Hi Landlord,

I can do that for you. The OpenRent first three subject lines come in a financial report from Equifax or Experian, the employers reference and previous landlord reference is gathered from what the tenant tells the landlord and is checked by a call centre on a number given by the tenant.

This is what Open Rent do for £20

3-5 Working Days (on average)
Credit Check
Linked Address, Identity & Fraud Information
CCJs, Decrees, and other court information
Affordability Rating
Previous Landlord Reference
Employers Reference

and this is what we do for £27

  • Send & Process Application Forms
  • Tenants Affordability
    Rent Vs Wages, Bank Statements, P60, commitment analysis.
  • Equifax Detailed Financial Report
    Up to 9 Linked Addresses, CCJ’s, IVA, Aliases,  Electoral Roll, +Score
  • Tenant History Report
    Landlord and Letting Agents Direct Data Share of Rent Defaults & Property Damage
  • Employers/Accountants Reference
    employer status, Wage verification, Contract Confirmation only accepted in written format.
  • Previous Landlords Reference
    As supplied by the applicant tenant and only exepted in written format.

All of the data is then cross referenced with all the documents we get and scrutinised for discrepancies. Our referencing takes over 1 hour of time by a data processor to analyse tenant’s ability to meet rent payments, make sure they have no previous problem histories and for £13 more we will even gather and check the Right to Rent Immigration Document Verification; from over 120 countries worldwide

We then provide the landlord/ letting agent with a breakdown of each element of the referencing in a final report showing them the problem areas as we see them and then we archive all their files so they can get all the references and reports out and see them at any point in the future.

We started off offering the Openrent and Rentguard type references which were offered to us as a package to include the financial report employers and previous landlord from Experian for £8 but the truth is as a landlord myself they were not worth the paper they were written on.

I challenged one of their reports at the outset and they said pass but on deeper investigation the well to do lady who had a great credit score was a local scammer and left owing a previous landlord £3k. That landlord never took her to court as she had done a runner and if we had not picked her up I would have taken her.

Cheap referencing are like cheap gum boots they leak.

31/03/2016
1:11 pm
Boris
Guest
Guests

how does OpenRent referencing compare to any other agent out there?

This line sums up the whole post.

31/03/2016
9:54 pm
PaulBarrett
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SamiiB said

The only way for LL to confirm that LRS is the real and best deal is to show all referencing companies and what they provide and at what cost and at what level of detail

 

This is a great idea Paul. Being an ambassador of LRS maybe this is something you could undertake for us?? Wink

Nope sorry I’m not the ideal as any form of ambassador

For a start I haven’t experienced the efficacy of LRS products

If I was to reference again etc I would be very lazy and just use LRS

I simply wouldn’t be bothered with the competition when I know LRS wouldn’t let me down!!!

It surely wouldn’t take too long to round up the details of what other referencing operations provide!?Let’s face it I can’t see any other referencing operations advising of the competition which in the case of LRS would be just too much  competition l!!!

06/04/2016
2:35 pm
Jeffy64
Guest
Guests

I haven’t used Open Rent, but I’ve been quite disappointed with the service and price of Upad and Legal For Landlords. They both seem very expensive for not much return.

I joined your system a long time ago but have never used it until today – Oh how I wish I’d used your system all along! Thankfully its not too late.

03/06/2016
9:59 am
JFalk
Guest
Guests

I’m sooooOOO annoyed! ! !

I was looking to advertise my property to let and then reference so I went with Open Rent as they were the first to appear through my Google search.
Why I didn’t do my research before I really don’t know, but now I realise that you’re the best in the market I really am kicking myself! Yell
As a side note, I think you need to make it more obvious on Google (and the like) that you offer property lettings too. Maybe I’d have found you first? #hindsightisawonderfulthing

10/08/2016
10:59 pm
franklymydear
Guest
Guests

i tend to think the paid google ads reek of desperation, so always scroll down to seek out the home-grown, organic companies

18/08/2016
9:34 pm
JK
Guest
Guests

Tennant:

Hello, was looking for a property myself and stumbled across few of these new “online letting agencies” recently. Looks like it’s not only bad deal for landlord but for a tenant as well. Does anyone noticed the format and the amount of personal data disclosed – and the link is available to anyone….

I am really concerned about all the private information from landlords and tenants. I don’t think it is treated with respect to privacy or accordingly to the data protection act legislation.

All the landlords/tenants who left their credit card details on sites like https://www.openrent.co.uk/  & http://www.theonlinelettingagents.co.uk/ are exposing themselves to a possible data/identity theft and make them selves easy targets for fraudster’s in todays digital world.

Just something to think about….

This new trend with the online letting agents – middleman/parasites with no actual value behind the products they market is currently grooving, that concerns me.

John

19/08/2016
10:03 am
SamiiB
Somerset
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Hi John, many thanks for your comment.

You are 100% right! This really is a growing concern with websites such as these requesting an obscene amount of personal data, with no way to distinguish between who is a landlord and who is a tenant.

 

I think this is why more and more landlords (and tenants) are understanding the value of using Tenant Referencing UK, as we vet every landlord that comes through before giving them full access to the website, we do not store debit/credit card details (as we either take the payment securely over the telephone via Worldpay or through Paypal) AND we don’t pass tenants sensitive details on; we pass their last landlords details on if it is a match to a Tenant History within the database.

As the leading referencing company in the UK, we take our data protection and ICO endorsements extremely seriously.

Personally I think it is absolutely scandalous that companies like these continue to abuse data protection guidelines and get away with it.

Senior PR Officer at TenantReferencingUK.com & Admin at NLCEuk.co.uk .

Any queries email me at:

samii@landlordreferencing.co.uk / samii.boydprice@nlceuk.co.uk or give me a call on: 0800 9994 994 (option 6).

11/08/2017
1:57 pm
HappyBunny
Guest
Guests

I really appreciate how efficient your referencing is in comparison to Open Rents offerings.

I haven’t used them since I lost a couple of tenants because they couldn’t get through to anyone to discuss their application, got fed up and went elsewhere.

I have had 0 complaints from tenants since using your service, so thank you very much.

18/08/2017
10:35 am
CluckedOff
Guest
Guests

Does anyone know what rent affordability calculations Open Rent use?

I ask because they keep failing all my tenants, even though they can afford it with your
rent calculator. I’ve continually called and emailed them for an explanation but they just don’t respond. AND they wont refund the RGI back when they ‘fail’.

After speaking to a very helpful account manager this morning I’ve just joined you to re reference all of them. But what an absolute pain to go through the whole process again ! ! ! Yell

Anyone else had a similar experience?

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