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Property Hawk

A Landlord's UBER Moment

If I had a pound for every time over the last 25 years of renting property and more recently running Property Hawk that I’ve heard : “this product is going to revolutionise renting”  I wouldn’t be writing this landlord diatribe. 

I’d be on a beach, retired, with a tequila in hand.  The reality is that all the products that I’ve been presented with to date are really not offering anything new.  A cursory glance by the business owners would reveal a hundred, very similar businesses, all doing the exact same thing. 

Alternatively, the service that the start up offered, which was going to make renting simpler for a landlord really didn’t tackle any of the substantive challenges faced by a landlord. 

This was until I was approached by Letme Corporate.

New landlord service

I read their initial email with the usual scorn, disinterest and mocking disbelief.  To be honest most of the time I don’t get any further than reading the title.  Luckily this time I must have been feeling charitable.  What did prick my attention was this business was backed by the Richmond Group a £170 million business with 5A1 rating from Dunn & Bradstreet.  Not the usual tin pot start up.  Having said that there are a number of highly backed startup rental businesses that have raised and then burnt a lot of investors cash that really haven’t delivered anything new to the renting landscape other than a very flash and expensive website. Letme Corporate on the other hand were significantly understated.  I like that!  So what are they all about?

They offer something truly unique

Their product is quite ingenious and original in the letting landscape.  It does unusually offer something for both tenant and landlord and it’s a cliche but I can really see that it’s a win win for both.  When I spoke to Dean at Letme Corporate, I really did think “I can see this working for everybody”. 

It genuinely was a Landlord Uber moment…. so here it goes:

What’s it all about?

The product tackles the issue of affordability and convenience for a tenant and commoditizes residential rental space in the same way as car finance has responded to the aspirations of consumers who want to own a car (but without the ability or desire or own one).  After all most people are just on a rolling program of leasing a car or swapping one loan for the next.  So why not apply the same principle to rental property?  So this is how the Letme propositions work.

How the Letme proposition works

In essence it charges the tenant slightly more rent, not much …circa 10% more.  But for this additional rental cost they then don’t have to pay a deposit or their first month's rent. These upfront costs are often a killer for a tenant when moving between properties. This is tried and tested with thousands of existing tenant - quite simply, they love it.

As the landlord, you receive 95% of the usual monthly rent but up front in a single 12 month payment.  LetMe Corporate will do all the donkey work for you, for free, like advertising your property on all the major portals like Rightmove and Zoopla and also fully credit check your potential tenant.  They also won't hoist a tenant on you, meaning you will always meet them personally and assess them before signing any tenancy agreement and contract. 

The advantage to you is that with their owner, the Richmond Group,  have experience in personal loans in their business Amigo Loans. Thus  are extremely experienced at assessing the credit risks and profile of your potential tenants to unearth any nasties.

Find out more about the Letme service


The other advantage to a landlord is that there's no messing about with a rental deposit.  LetMe Corporate takes control of the rental collection process and issues the landlord with a rental condition guarantee which guarantees that the landlord receives the property back in the same condition that they handed it over in, subject to general fair wear and tear of course.

Effectively, LetMe is the tenant and therefore there are no voids.  Letme uses it’s experience that it has developed over the 10 years it has developed Amigo Loans to ensure that the chances of the tenant absconding or causing damage are very small.  Where damage does occur it then picks up the bill. Amazing!

The LetMe service offers landlords 3 great options:

The basic Letme Corporate service has a number of options available that can be tailored to a specific landlord's requirements:

OPTION 1

Free Referencing & 12 Months Rent in advance

The first version is where a landlord has found themselves a suitable tenant.  In this case LetMe will reference the potential tenant for free and then arrange the collection and payment of the 12 months rent upfront. The service then works as follows:

  • The landlord would submit the tenant and property information to LetMe (via Property Manager)
  • They will contact the tenant to obtain all relevant information,completing the referencing process immediately
  • They would offer the tenant the ability to move into the property rent & deposit free
  • Once approved and subject to the tenant’s choice on rental payments, LetMe will contact the landlord
  • The landlord will be advised what additional rent the tenant will pay to spread the cost of the initial monies
  • Letme will then advise the landlord the total net amount we will pay them for the 12-month agreement (Typically 95%*)
  • Should a tenant not be prepared to increase the monthly rent amount, LetMe will offer the landlord the net amount of 85%*
  • If the landlord rejects this offer – LetMe will forward them the detailed credit check – allowing them to decide if they wish to proceed with the tenant. 


Find out more about the Letme service

OPTION 2

Free Rightmove Advertising & 12 Month Rent in advance
          
This is a full marketing package & tenant find service - £0 upfront cost and consists of:

  • Free unlimited advertising on Rightmove & other portals – allowing tenants to move in Rent & Deposit FREE
  • Free tenant enquiry handling – Only receive tenants who are approved to rent the property
  • Free referencing
  • 12 Months rent paid in advance – received on the signing of the AST
  • Receive a condition guarantee – LetMe ensures the property is handed back in the same condition
  • No rent collection or eviction processes. LetMe takes control of this directly with the tenant
  • No Voids, No Late Payments, No Risk
  • Zero cost upfront and receive 95%* of the rent

 
OPTION 3

Enhanced Tenant Find
                                                                                  
This is a full letting service, including management of a property - £0 upfront cost:

  • This service includes everything above +
  • Full management of the property for the life of the tenancy
  • A complete hands off management service
  • Zero cost upfront and receive 90%* of the rent


This new service for landlords and tenants really could be the Uber moment that landlords have been looking for balancing the cost and risk of renting a property through an outside agency but ensuring that the cashflow from their residential investment business is maximised.

Find out more about the Letme service



Comments (4)

Letme
Im not sure how this is any different from Northwood or similar?
#1 - Robin - 06/10/2016 - 14:14
LetMe
I have been very favourably impressed with the service which Letme has been able to offer me as a landlord. We have a large three bedroom property in Bournmouth which we wanted to let to a family for a maximum of £1,450 per month. We negotiated with LetMe and agreed for them to pay us £1,350 up front which amounted to £16,200 which they paid immediately. They then advertised the property on Rightmove for £1,755 for a few weeks but then dropped the price by a small amount before finding a tenant. As we had already received a full years rent money in advance we were just able to forget about the house and not worry about whether the tenants paid or not.

From my experience with LetMe they have been professional, extremely polite and very straightforward in their business. I doubt whether I would have been able to have achieved a higher rent than that which they gave me in advance.

Several years ago I asked Northwood for a price on a three bedroom house which I knew that I could let for £850 per month. The highest offer that they could come up with was only £625 per month and that was not a year in advance either.

As a landlord I would not hesitate to recomment LetMe and I will certainly use their services again in the future.

I must add that I am not affiliated to LetMe in any way but am just delighted with their service.
#2 - Noel Watson - 06/11/2016 - 00:05
rent in advance
Hi Noel

Thank you for sharing your personal experience of Letme. You have mentioned that they paid you 12 months rent in advance, at the time you handed the property to them, (i.e. not as from the date they actually let the property), but this contradicts their own statements and the advertising blurb above, which states that they pay the 12 months rent upfront only upon the signing of the AST, i.e. when they have found a new tenant and let the property.

I am still a bit unsure as to whether they are a letting agent that simply pays you an agreed rate (in advance), rather than the actual rent charged minus a % management charge, OR, whether they lease the property from you for 12 months at a time? Perhaps you could clarify? Do you have a tenancy agreement with the actual occupying tenants, or do you simply have a 12 month commercial lease agreement with Letme?
#3 - Robert Mellors - 06/12/2016 - 10:14
excisting tenants
Can any of these schemes be run on excisting tenants in my properties etc
#4 - Paul Trotter - 07/10/2016 - 14:49
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