Yes. When using OpenRent, the decision on how to proceed with prospective tenants is always yours.
The recommendation provided by the reference is for your information and guidance, but you are still free to choose whether to accept the tenants or not.
Generally speaking if tenants fail referencing (or there are strong early signs that they may do so) there are four main ways a landlord might want to proceed:
1. Reject the application
That way, you can continue your search to find more suitable tenants. You can do this using the cancel button:
2. Add a Guarantor
Guarantors are required to sign the same tenancy agreement as your tenants, and so become legally liable to cover the rent and/or the cost of damage to the property if the tenant fails to do so. Guarantors need to be UK residents and we strongly advise having them comprehensively referenced alongside the tenant to ensure they’re suitable. You can see how to add a guarantor here.
3. Advanced Rent
This is a common solution where a UK resident guarantor can’t be found (for instance if the tenant is moving from abroad). Typically 3 or 6 months is paid in advance; the obvious limitation being that it provides no further guarantee once the pre-paid months have passed. You can see how to add rent in advance to the contract here.
4. Proceed As Is
Some landlords decide to proceed even though tenants fail referencing. This is particularly common if a tenant only narrowly fails one aspect of the reference, or can provide an explanation against any problematic elements. Landlords in this position often ask the tenant to provide supporting info to them directly, alongside the referencing report, e.g. recent bank statements. As part of Rent Now, you would proceed using the green "accept references" button shown in the image above.
A Note on Insurance...
It is worth checking whether accepting a tenant who failed referencing will affect your landlord insurance. Also note that our Rent Guarantee Insurance (RGI) offer is only available where tenants pass comprehensive referencing or can supply a suitable guarantor to cover their share of the rent.
To discuss Rent Guarantee Insurance or any aspect of the referencing process, you can contact our referencing partner Rentguard directly on 0113 320 7368.