The Advanced Rent Option, which offers landlords a year’s rent up-front, is being rolled out across the UK.
The ARO is the brainchild of Choices Estate Agents - a nine-branch lettings, sales and investment agency in the south east of England and with associate brands including Sinclair Hammelton and Daniels in Kent - and works through a business model named Primary Tenancy.
This involves the agency collecting rent on a monthly basis but providing investors with a lump sum to manage their buy to let mortgage payments or to use as capital towards expanding their portfolio.
Subject to referencing, ARO can provide landlords with up to 12 months' rent in advance minus agency fees.
Landlords can take their up-front rent at the beginning of a tenancy provided their property is compliant and the tenants pass referencing, or at any time during an existing tenancy, subject to a new one-year agreement.
ARO doesn’t affect a landlord’s credit score as it is paid as rent, not a loan.
Founder Simon Shinerock says: “This project has been two years in the pilot stage and it has proven to bring huge benefits to the lettings market offering peace of mind, flexibility and freedom to landlords, as well as an invaluable marketing and prospecting edge for selected agents.
“Landlords with small to medium property portfolios are paying between 12-17% plus VAT for a fully managed service. It is possible to pay less, but over 30 years of experience in the industry, I have come to believe that paying a discounted agency fee, or letting privately is often a false economy.”
Shinerock says the advance payment assists landlords fund personal expenditure like school fees, or the replacement of big-ticket items on their properties such as boilers.
“ARO is ideal for reliable, professional and go-ahead landlords, who understand its value and how to use it to accelerate their portfolio growth and achieve financial freedom, through property. The new service is available to landlords direct from ARO, or from selected agents who have been awarded an ARO licence” he continues.
Publicity for the ARO cites a Croydon buy to let landlord, Mohammed, who says: “A few months ago my properties were coming available and had been empty for a few months due to some issues we had. When the Advanced Rent Option was explained, it suited me because I wanted to get everything back on track, in one fell swoop.
“So to get eight properties rented out, with the eight lots of rent in advance really helped to get me back on my feet. A lot of the up-front rent went into paying for works that had been carried out. I also put some to one side to help restart and get things back on track.”