19:02 PM, 2nd April 2013, About 9 years ago
How difficult can it be to advertise property to let on all the major rental portals, reference the tenants properly and guarantee the rent and legal expenses in one package with money back guarantees?
It shouldn’t be difficult should it?
As you will no doubt be aware, there are now a handful of online letting agents who offer to advertise properties to let on the major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla for FREE. They then make their money by charging tenants for referencing and by selling insurance policies. The model works well in England and Wales but not in Scotland as their new laws preventing premiums to be charged to tenants have killed that particular business model.
Also, in England and Wales I know a lot of landlords prefer to do their own referencing as they don’t trust the ability of others. But what if the referencing could be underwritten with rent guarantee and legal protection insurance for 12 months? In other words, if the tenant fails to pay rent the insurance company become liable for all costs associated with eviction and pay the rent to the landlord until the tenant is evicted. Well as you may be aware, that’s also available (at a price) but as one package and with guaranteed results?
As landlords we very quickly become cautious people.
Some landlords who self manage their portfolio’s already use a variety of tenant referencing and RGI suppliers. However, I also know a lot don’t as they think the tenant referencing will be so strict that very few tenants would ever pass, thus leaving themselves with a scenario whereby they have paid for a service which doesn’t work for them.
By packaging the advertising of property to let, referencing and rent guarantee insurance into one, and then tying everything up with a 30 day Money Back Guarantee, surely this would be a “no brainer” for landlords? Well, price dependent of course!
In my opinion, what landlords need is a simple and straight forward way to buy such a package. Earlier this year I scoured the internet and realised whilst it is theoretically possible to buy most of these services separately, I could not find one company offering what I think most landlords really want/need, i.e. all of the above and a money back guarantee if an acceptable tenant isn’t found within a month.
I put this dilemma to an ARLA Letting Agent I know which specialises in online lettings. I refer a lot of landlords to them and we agreed that it would be an interesting exercise to cost out a such a package. This is what we came up with:-