A landlord’s guide to property photography

OpenRent makes it easy to advertise your property to millions 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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A free Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (rental contract) you can use offline or online!

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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More portals – and free listings for all!

We are delighted to announce some new features launching today on OpenRent!

More portals – Rightmove, Zoopla, FindAProperty, PrimeLocation and More

The first change is that based on feedback from our landlord customers, we have now partnered with Zoopla, FindAProperty and PrimeLocation in addition to Rightmove to give you even better coverage of tenant searches in the UK.  The sites we now list you with receive a combined total of more than 10 million searches a month, giving you the best possible chance of finding your ideal tenant!

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OpenRent Launches £20 Online Letting Service!

The OpenRent team are excited to announce the launch of our Landlord service today!

For the ridiculously low price of £20 you get:

  • Listing on our site as well as Rightmove.co.uk to advertise your property to millions of high quality tenants
  • Referencing of your new tenants
  • A tenancy agreement and access to our digital signing service
  • Registration of the tenancy deposit
  • Processing the first month’s rent payment
  • No further fees or hidden charges – you deal directly with tenants and do the viewings – we take care of everything else!

Sound good?  Check out our info page for more detail on how OpenRent works.  We look forward to helping you rent your property soon!

Credit where it’s due

We all know as tenants that when we sign a contract with a new landlord, we are committing to a pretty big decision.  Usually we are signing over a big chunk of our income to this person, and with it a pretty massive influence over our quality of life.  That doesn’t have to be as dramatic as ‘rogue’ landlords like these ones exposed by Channel4 to be important; taking ages to respond to problems, breaking promises on having things fixed or replaced, getting greedy with our deposit when it’s time to move – it all has the potential to make us miserable.

Given how obvious it is that a landlord has this much influence over a tenant’s happiness, it seems a little odd how little research or checking actually goes on in most cases.  Quite often we just go with our instincts based on the one meeting when we viewed the property – or worse, assume that our letting agent has got our backs!  There is a good article over at PIP which discusses this and points out the perversity of the current situation given the extensive referencing often done by landlords on their prospective tenants.

This obviously begs the question of what can be done to protect tenants from bad behaviour by landlords – but we think a better aim is to build a community which incentivises good behaviour by giving credit to good landlords where it’s due and letting other prospective tenants know about it.  Funny enough that’s exactly what we’re doing, and it fits neatly with our over-arching philosophy of trying to bring some much needed transparency to the murky world of property rentals.  OpenRent – geddit?  Be sure to follow us on Twitter or register on our site to be first to hear when we launch!

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!