Free Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST rental contract) | Download Now!

Most residential lettings in England and Wales are arranged as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) – an agreement introduced by the Housing Act 1988, and subsequently updated by the Housing Act 1996.  When an AST is established, the document everyone signs to agree terms is often referred to as an AST as well.

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Rip-off agent fees: when will it end?

For renters, the cost of moving home can be substantial.  Not only are deposits of 6 weeks’ rent commonplace – on top of this, tenants are usually charged fees by letting agents to cover referencing, contract signing and other “admin”. Earlier this year consumer magazine Which? found that the average fee charged to tenants was £310 each, and the highest was £420. Since these fees aren’t usually disclosed until a tenant has already seen a property, and sometimes not until they’ve put down a deposit on a property they like, it’s not hard to see why many consider them unfair.

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A landlord’s guide to property photography

OpenRent makes it easy to advertise your property to thousands of potential tenants – but if you haven’t spent much time thinking about photos, you might not be making the most out of your audience.  A survey of some of the 25,000 properties rented via our platform in the last year shows that a listing with good photos can generate a staggering 10x as many enquiries as one with poorly taken shots – so here’s a quick 1-2-3 to taking great photos. Not only that, but landlords can achieve 10% higher rent with professional quality photos!

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Now listing on Gumtree – and free daily bumps!

At OpenRent we’re building a one-stop shop for all a landlord’s needs, from finding great tenants to referencing, contracts, deposit registration and everything in between. Use as many or as few of our services as you like, from just £29 per property! Since we ban admin fees and only charge £20 each for referencing when it’s requested, we’re great for tenants too.

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Finding your ideal home…

Ever notice how all the property portals are starting to look alike? Search by postcode, filter by price, choose the number of rooms…  At OpenRent we’re really interested in how people find their new rented home, so we’ve been talking to tenants to find out what really matters to them when they start looking.

Rentjuice recently ran a survey on the first thing tenants looked for in a property – unsurprisingly rental price comes out top, but more than 50% of people said features of the local area are most important to them.  That could be anything from good schools nearby and local shops to being a convenient commute to work or to friends.

Some sites have begun linking to neighbourhood rating sites like WalkScore, but only after you have narrowed down your search and clicked on a property – which seems to us like the wrong way round!

We’ve working on some awesome new search features which are going to make finding your perfect place easy – and hopefully give you some ideas about great areas in your price range you hadn’t considered before.

Follow us on Twitter or register on our site to be first to hear when we launch!