THREE Wigan men with experience as tenants and Landlords have launched a revolutionary new lettings company pledging to end the “rip off” fees charged by agents.
Lets Rent, a cloud-based web letting system that helps both landlords and tenants through the letting process, wants to fundamentally change the way the lettings market operates today.
Moving home is already an expensive time, and many argue that letting agent fees are often inflated and unjustified.
But Lets Rent believe that this is unfair...and charge tenants a flat referencing fee of just £85, with no hidden fees whatsoever.
This, it claims, is up to three quarters cheaper than the national average.
Because all of the tenant’s paperwork is stored in their profile on the cloud based system, it speeds up the process, making it easier for them to complete reference checks and transfer money and have all their contracts stored in one place.
Bosses say that not only does it significantly benefit tenants, but it is also a completely free service for landlords to use, avoiding the huge fees that property investors can face when letting their property through traditional agents.
This allows landlords to advertise their property on the major websites (including Zoopla, Gumtree, and Primelocation), sets up communication between landlord and potential tenants, and manages all the paperwork digitally.
After a simple sign-up process, a property can be uploaded in minutes, and all contracts and paperwork are signed digitally and stored in the user’s profile.
Lets Rent (www.lets-rent.co.uk), which is based in Manchester, is a member of the regulating bodies The Property Ombudsman and the National Landlords Association (NLA).
And the service is available for all landlords and tenants nationally in England and Wales.
Founders Oliver Fitzpatrick and partners Richard Cook and Andrew Dawes all originate from Wigan and they have experience on both the landlord and tenant side of the letting process.
It left them with a deep conviction that change was needed.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: “Our aim is to revolutionise an out-dated letting market by offering a free service for landlords and a fair price for tenants.
“Landlords can mount up huge agent fees, which eat into their investment returns, sometimes thousands of pounds in locations such as London.
“Likewise, tenants can run up hundreds of pounds in fees which are totally unwarranted and cause aggravation. We created a simple system which remedied both these problems.”
He pointed out that the time was right for a new appraoch to lettings with the Commons Select Committee on Communities and Local Government accusing some of charging unjustifiable fees to renters. Shelter reported that the average fee for tenants was £350, not including deposit and rent.
Once more, a third of agents were charging more than £400, in some instances paying as much as £700.