A new ‘disruptive’ online lettings service has launched, charging landlords just £20 for agency services which include listing on Rightmove.
Landlords will not be charged for referencing but tenants will be charged £20 if referencing is requested by the landlords. Many high street letting agents charge ten times that amount, or even more.
OpenRent, a London-based start-up, says it will also take care of legal issues for landlords, including arranging tenancy deposits and contracts, and offer features such as landlord feedback from previous tenants and the ability to search for properties based on commuting by public transport.
It says: “The recurring theme is the use of technology to do away with the expensive, old world practices of traditional high street agencies – for instance taking advantage of digital signing technology, instant payments and online notifications – to create a system which is not only much cheaper than its offline cousin but faster and more convenient.”
Additional features like landlord feedback from previous tenants and the ability to search for properties based on their commute time via public transport further enhance the tenant experience.
The team behind OpenRent are Darius Bradbury and Adam Hyslop who met at Oxford University.
The founders say that they “directly experienced the problems they are trying to solve as tenants and landlords themselves, and are strong believers in the ability of technology to not only reduce cost in old world industries, but to create huge improvements in customers’ experiences at the same time”.
Darius Bradbury said: “Our ultimate aim is to benefit landlords and their prospective tenants. Whilst we are disruptive, we believe our service is for the benefit of our customers.”
He added: “We do think our service should co-exist with the traditional letting agent. There is a huge benefit in having a shop front that customers can walk into. It adds value and trust. But we also think there is a market for landlords who manage their own properties and want an easier to access tenant-find service.”