A controversial PropTech service that proposes agents charge prospective tenants £30 or more simply to view a property on the market, says it may in some circumstances be open to dealing directly with professional landlords.
ViewRabbit, which launched at the weekend, has been founded by ex-Savills and ex-Romans agent Michael Riley. This platform charges would-be buyers or sellers £30 - potentially more - if they want a guaranteed viewing that will not be cancelled.
ViewRabbit takes a cut before passing the remaining income to the agency. There are no set-up charges and viewers who complete the rental get their booking fee refunded - all other viewers do not get a refund.
After an agent signs up - upon invitation from ViewRabbit - the first 30 days’ income goes to charity; thereafter the revenue goes to the platform and the agent.
Michael Riley has told Landlord Today: "We welcome approaches from professional / portfolio landlords, the Build to Rent and Student accommodation sectors.
“In essence, we want companies who respect their consumer, who take the service they offer to tenants seriously and see feedback as a mechanism for improving their offering.”
ViewRabbit, the launch of which was covered in The Times and Estate Agent Today over the weekend, has had a mixed-to-critical response from agents.
Although some welcome the attempt to monetise the time spent by agents on showing prospective tenants a property, many have expressed fears that such a charge may contravene the Tenant Fees Act, and may be seen as profiteering by letting agents - for example, they may show 10 or 20 tenants a property, charging £30 a time, yet inevitably only one goes on to sign a contract and have their £30 reimbursed.
As it stands, ViewRabbit majors in dealing with agents; while it is interested in speaking with professional landlords and companies, it appears uninterested in dealing directly with small scale buy to let landlords who make up the bulk of the lettings sector.
With regard to ViewRabbit’s fees charged by letting agents to view a landlord’s property to let, Riley tells Landlord Today: “It is up to the agent to discuss with the landlord directly.”
You can see the new website here.
Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.