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Tenants complain of slow on-boarding process by letting agents

Tenants are complaining that lengthy application processes at lettings agencies contribute to their frustration at missing available properties. 

The results of a survey by PropTech platform MoveStreets suggest that 74 per cent of tenants say that relaying their requirements and having to undergo the referencing process with multiple agents was a time consuming process.

MoveStreets found that 40 per cent of tenants described their recent hunt for a rental home as difficult and half of them also said it took far longer than they expected before they were able to secure a property.


In the last decade, the total amount of rental stock within the private rental sector has increased by 23 per cent to 5.4m homes, meaning there are now over 1m more rental properties within the sector. 

However, at the same time, the number of total renters has also increased by 24 per cent, meaning there are now over 12.8m tenants - an increase of nearly 2.5m. 

Some 73 per cent of tenants stated that they found one to two properties that they classed as perfect, but these were let to someone else before they had a chance to secure them. 


For 18 per cent this frustration occurred on between three to five rental properties, with nine per cent missing out on six or more rental properties during their search.

The survey was conducted last week and contacted 2,345 UK tenants.

Adam Kamani, chief executive and co-founder of the platform, says: “The number of us reliant on the rental sector has grown steadily over the last decade and tenant demand has never been higher. As a result, the rental market has become a very competitive space where multiple tenants are fighting it out for a single property, while those who are unsuccessful are forced to go back to the drawing board.”

  • James B

    If there wasn’t so many dodgy sorts out there trying to rip landlords the process maybe not so intense

    Mia M

    It is not only that. You ahve to be so careful who you rent to becasue the law is not on the landlord's side (not even on the common sense side). More regulations, more hinderance for landlords and agents and this is where it takes us. And this is just the beginning. With more and more landlords coming off the market and less and less proeprties available to tenants, the fight to rent a property will get even more fierce.

  • Matthew Payne

    Dont agree with his data. The 2020-21 English Housing Survey shows the PRS has been shrinking since 2016, and stands at 4.4m, which along with disjointed government policy has led to the problem he details as well as spiralling rents.

    Theodor Cable

    Surely the shrinking rental housing will naturally mean rent increases.

  • icon

    The trouble is , there were, and are still a lot of unscrupulous owners (get rid of "landlord"s to start with) who really 'ransomed' decent potential or actual tenants.
    "accept these grotty conditions and don't care attitude or "b****r off""!
    There are awful tenants too but:
    1 keep up your own standards.
    2 carry out very detailed pre-tenancy checks. Interview face-to-face EVERY applicant.

    Accommodate-UK Management Ltd 61 years owning and letting property

    Theodor Cable

    Just wait and watch the chaos that the Govt. will have to cope with when the PRS owners sell most of their houses.

    It will make Brexit, Covid and inflation pure easy compared with 1000s and thousands of ex tenants who will have no housing.....And that will see what these nutter Wokes will have done.

  • icon

    If I understand it correctly, this is a company that offers onboarding services telling us that tenants aren't happy with our onboarding processes and therefore presumably we need to use the company's onboarding services?
    Hope LAT have been sensible enough to send them an invoice for advertising.

  • icon

    BooHoo - says it all really

  • Tom Soane

    From the letting agent side, the application is instant. The delay comes from acquiring the information from the tenant. Plus, there should be MORE checks in order to avoid the tenants that end up costing investors and landlords money. If investors don't make profit from a property, there would be no private rented sector. So any tenant that complains about lengthy application processes is either causing the delay themselves or is expecting Landlords and Letting Agents to book viewings a week in the future because the tenant is not prepared to sacrifice anything to get the property quickly. You only miss a property because you don't act quickly enough.


    I am glad to see your post. I thought I was the only one not getting the point of this article. Surely the process, from the landlord/agent perspective is easy. They pass Right to Rent checks, because the civil service cannot seecure our Borders. They pay an initial holding deposit, complete the appropriate documentation and then referencing company do the referencing.

    The phrase, "MoveStreets found that 40 per cent of tenants described their recent hunt for a rental home as difficult and half of them also said it took far longer than they expected before they were able to secure a property." suggests that the tenants expected to walk in, view a property, pay rent, deposit and get the keys there and then.

  • icon

    This is a euphemism from dodgy tenants who cant provide decent information, ie They are unsuitable because of a poor background.

  • icon

    I have to agree with tenant frustration here.
    We are currently at the last hurdle of acquiring a property to rent.

    The delays have not been at our side. Holding deposit paid within an hour of request.
    OpenBanking Rent4Sure data filled in same day from both of us. Both with perfect credit, rental histories, references, full documentation and identification provided etc.

    We had to chase down follow ups with the tenant agency on whether we had passed. Turns out they had the positive results back within the 48 hours from Rent4Sure but we eventually found out a week later. (Rent4Sure's comms were direct with the agency - they wouldn't communicate with us applicants directly).

    The Deadline For Agreement went over the 15 days. 31 days on we receive the AST to sign - this wasn't the formal agreement.

    Today is the Friday, and we move in on Monday and have only just received the full tenancy agreement to sign and instructions to pay remaining deposit.

    Our suitability checks were carried out almost immediately and so landlord assurances were covered early doors. I totally appreciate the need for checks and we were happy for them to be carried out on us.
    The delay has been with the agency themselves. I understand they may be busy - however if staff aren't plentiful to handle the amount of properties you manage- then you shouldn't be taking on those properties.

    Perhaps when landlords are told by agencies that tenants are the cause of delays, landlords think perhaps this isn't always true. It certainly isn't in our case.

    Tenants aren't waiting on the streets with their worldly possessions ready to jump into a property - we have to give notice, arrange movers, arrange childcare needs - and having such important details so last minute and having to chase them down every step of the way has been an exhausting and stressful process.


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