OpenRent Review – Established in 2012, this online letting agent is one of the few offering a free trial of its service and also makes a big deal of having ‘no admin fees’ for tenants. Does that make it worthwhile considering? We investigate…
At A Glance:
OpenRent are a lettings agency that have received their fair share of positive media attention so you may have seen them in the likes of The Sun, The Telegraph or even on the BBC.
Here’s how they perform in the most important areas:
- Offer big cost savings over traditional high street agents
- Listings appear on Rightmove, Zoopla & PrimeLocation
- Optional tenancy creation service
- Excellent reviews on TrustPilot
- Offer a range of additional landlord services
That’s a pretty good start to our OpenRent review then. Let’s look more closely at the highlights of their offering:
Is OpenRent The Best Agent For You?
Take our short 5 question quiz to find out which online letting agent is right for you:
How Much Does OpenRent Cost?
One of the first things you’ll notice about OpenRent is that they offer a completely free option. That’s great but it only gives you 3 months advertising on the OpenRent platform and access to their enquiry and viewing organiser.
If you want more (and chances are, you will), you’ll need one of their paid packages which come with the following services, as standard:
- Rightmove, Zoopla & PrimeLocation Listings
- Advertising on 100+ partner websites
- Viewing & Enquiry Organiser
As you can see, you don’t get a huge amount included as standard but at just £29 including VAT, the price reflects that. It’s also worth pointing out that there are no setup or ongoing monthly fees, what you see is what you pay.
It should also be noted that on the £29 package, there’s also a 100% FREE trial available. This gives you 5 days worth of advertising without any obligation to pay for more.
If you’re looking for a little more, you can upgrade to the Rent Now package. Costing just £49 including VAT, this gives you everything mentioned above, contract drafting and digital signing, deposit registration, and the first rental payment collected.
Tenant referencing is available as an optional extra at £20 per reference.
OpenRent are positioned purely as an advertising service. Yes, they offer a range of extra services you may expect of a traditional letting agent but they don’t offer full ongoing management of your property and tenants.
That means they are a great low-cost option for those who just need help finding tenants, but not really a good option for those that don’t want to manage their own properties.
When conducting our OpenRent review, we found the company offers a fair few other services in addition to their advertising packages. These include:
- Landlord Inventory Service (From £85)
- Property Floor Plans (From £25)
- Accompanied Viewings (From £99)
- Property Photography (From £79)
- Gas Safety Certificate (CP12) (From £45)
- Electrical Safety Certificate (From £49)
What’s promising here is that all of the additional services are reasonably priced. That means they aren’t luring you in with cheap advertising packages and then bumping up the costs of the add-ons.
In short, you can build your own ‘ideal’ package and pay just a fraction of the cost of using a traditional high street agent.
However, keep in mind that all the prices quoted above are ‘starting from’ prices so the actual amount may be slightly higher. That said, we found in most cases the prices are pretty much as advertised so you shouldn’t have any nasty surprises.
As always, prices are subject to change and we can’t guarantee the accuracy of the add-ons above so you’re best checking the pricing page of the OpenRent website for the latest up-to-date information.
How Letting With OpenRent Works:
As we have already mentioned, OpenRent are mostly a landlord advertising service. That means they will get your property listed on the major portals, find you a tenant, and help with setting them up. But beyond that, you’re mostly on your own.
That will suit private landlords who like to manage their properties themselves rather than losing their margin paying a letting agent to manage them on their behalf.
However, it won’t suit those who want to outsource the entire management of a property to a letting agent and simply reap the rewards without having to do much themselves.
So, in short, if you choose to go with OpenRent you’ll start by choosing an advertising package and any other services you require. Then you simply create your property listing by adding your description, photographs, and additional details.
Your advert will then be placed on all the major property portals including Rightmove and Zoopla. You’ll get email and SMS alerts when new enquiries come in.
If you’ve chosen the Rent Now package, you’ll also get help in setting up your tenancy agreement and taking the first months rent.
So, Is OpenRent Any Good?
Put simply, if you are mostly looking for a letting agent that will find you a tenant, but you’re happy to handle all the ongoing management yourself, OpenRent is an excellent option.
They offer some extremely cost-effective advertising packages and their add-on services are all very reasonably priced too.
And that’s all delivered with a good approach to customer services and a very nice, clean website that’s easy-to-use and navigate your way around.
With an overall ‘Excellent’ rating from 1,000+ reviews on independent review site TrustPilot, it’s clear that they are an online letting agent that’s providing a service that landlords genuinely seem to love.
The fact they don’t charge admin fees to your tenants also means they’ll be happy too and more likely to stay in your property for longer.
Negatives Of OpenRent:
So far, our OpenRent review has found plenty of positives about this online letting agent, but what about the negatives?
There’s nothing that should worry you too much, but there are a couple of things to be aware of. Firstly, we’ve mentioned a few times now that OpenRent are primarily an advertising service.
That means they are great at finding tenants but won’t suit anyone looking for a more hands-on lettings management solution.
Secondly, although there is telephone support available 9am-6pm, Monday to Saturday, they don’t make this immediately obvious. You can spend quite a lot of time searching through their help centre and community forum before you find a contact number.
That’s about it. Sure, there are likely to be a few other things that won’t suit everyone, but on the whole there’s very little to worry about.
A Short History Of OpenRent:
Back in 2012, two Oxford graduates, Darius Bradbury and Adam Hyslop, set up OpenRent after becoming disillusioned with the service both landlords and tenants were receiving the in UK property market.
With a mission statement that reads “be open, be honest, be user-friendly. Provide users with as much information as possible, wherever and whenever”, OpenRent use a combination of technology and customer service to deliver a better experience.
That approach led to the company receiving an investment from Northern & Shell in 2014.
By 2015, OpenRent had become one of the largest players in the market with 2,500 monthly listings.
OpenRent Review – Summary:
So, what’s the overall verdict in our OpenRent review? Put simply, it’s an excellent online letting agent that offers a service that will potentially save thousands for landlords all over the UK.
Sure, you’ll need to be prepared to take on the day-to-day management of the property yourself, but it terms of advertising your property to find new tenants, there are few better options.
Being able to pay less than £50 to advertise your property and get your tenant setup is incredibly good value. The additional services available then allow you to build a package that’s right for you.
The fact there is a free option and even a free trial of the paid package is an added bonus that will particularly benefit those with tight budgets.
If you just want help finding a new tenant and maybe a few extra services, OpenRent is an excellent choice.