A number of buy-to-let landlords have been left in limbo following the sudden closure of online letting agent Upad.
The company, which pioneered the online-only letting business model, is no longer accepting new business from landlords.
The surprising news was announced on the company’s website over the weekend, in a statement reading: “We regret to inform you that Upad is no longer accepting new business. We would like to thank all our customers for their support over the last ten years.”
The closure has left landlords across the UK anxious about money owed to them or their tenants.
It is estimated that around 450 landlords will be affected by Upad’s closure.
Landlords who paid Upad for a tenant find service after 1st October will be able to claim a refund, but those who paid before that date will not, according to Upad’s message on its website, which includes a list of ‘frequently asked questions’ for landlords affected by the firm’s closure.
The full list of frequently asked questions:
Q: I have an ongoing tenancy administered by Upad. What will happen to my tenant’s deposit?
A: The deposit is protected by a government approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDS). We have transferred all deposits held by us into their custodial scheme.
If you need further information about the deposit, you can access this via the TDS website by entering the tenancy details here https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/is-my-deposit-protected.html
At the end of the tenancy, you will negotiate any deductions directly with your tenant and then give authority to the deposit scheme administrators for the deposit to be released, subject to the rules of the scheme.
Q: Upad is collecting rent from my tenant. What will happen to that process in future?
A: Any rent already collected by us will be promptly paid over to you on receipt. We hold all client money in a strictly segregated account, separate from our own funds. We will stop collecting rent by direct debit after 10 October 2019 so you should contact your tenant directly to make alternative arrangements for future rents to be paid.
Q: I have paid for a Upad advertising package and haven’t yet found a tenant.
A: We are sorry that we have not been able to find you a tenant. If you have purchased a Upad package since 1 October 2019 then we will be refunding you in due course. If you purchased a Upad package prior to that date, we regret that we cannot offer a refund.
Q: I am in the process of agreeing a tenancy for a new property. What should I do?
A: Please contact the tenant directly to conclude negotiations.