It is understood that Dexters is looking for a buyer for the Howsy, Upad and Urban landlord online platforms after a dedicated call centre for the three websites was closed and staff redundancies announced.
Daniel King, who left his position as lettings manager at Howsy, Urban.co.uk, and UpadLettings, last week, has informed EYE that Howsy’s call centre in Coventry was closed by Dexters two months ago and the “entire Howsy, Upad and Urban team was made redundant”.
Howsy was purchased by Dexters last year as part of a distressed sale after running into financial difficulty.
Howsy, which bought former rival Upad out of liquidation for an undisclosed sum in 2020 and The Happy Tenant Company in 2021, had to be sold after running into financial difficulty.
Founded in 2016 as No Agent, a fixed-fee management service, before rebranding in 2018, the company had attracted significant sums investment from both institutional shareholders and crowdfunding before being purchased by Dexters.
Calum Brannan, who founded Howsy and oversaw the acquisitions of Urban and Upad, joined Dexters to head up its national rental business but only remained at the company for 11 months.
Daniel King posted an open letter on social media on Friday, which you can read below:
After an incredible 7 year, today marks the end of my time with Urban.co.uk. It’s been a wild ride with 8 offices, 4 owners, and over 23,000 listings. From the Tunbridge Wells office to the world of Howsy and Upad, each phase brought challenges and triumphs.
Walking into the small office back in 2016, I was lucky to be hired by the founder and then owner Adam Male. Without him I would not have had the accelerated start I did. Being a small office, everyone wore multiple hats, and my hat is off to Polly Harrison (Rivers)—content creator and PR extraordinaire. Polly was a pleasure to work with and really helped me understand how each part of the business impacted the other.
The months with Emoov were nothing short of amazing due to the resources now at our disposal, and I had the privilege of working alongside the brilliant sales manager, Robert Aveling. Out of all the offices, this was hands down the nicest and most expensive.
The Howsy acquisition introduced me to a fantastic team, with Calum Brannan leading the charge and the indispensable Steven Kemp steering us toward success.
Special shoutout to Jake Byerley for inviting me to join the Howsy Lettings team. Urban might have taken a back seat, but it was always my baby. And who could have predicted that I’d end up with Upad under my belt, thanks to Howsy’s acquisition out of liquidation? A big thank you to James Davis for guiding us through uncharted territory.
The Dexters buyout about 18 months ago marked a turning point, fueling my belief in the business’s and online lettings potential. I even packed up and moved to Coventry to be closer to the full Howsy team. Shoutout to Sorcha Dugmore and Megan Fairfield, whose efforts streamlined the business and led us towards the green post-Covid.
Two months ago, the decision to close the Coventry office hit hard, and the entire Urban, Upad, and Howsy team faced redundancy. Though my journey with Urban.co.uk ends here, I am hopeful for the team taking over.
A heartfelt thank you to Olivia van den Bergh, Ollie Burnie, Mushtaq Kakar, Lewis Jones, Daniel Peers, Claire Harvey, Beatriz Pinto, Sophia Hewston, Asif Ali, Charlie Croft, and countless others who made this journey memorable. I’d love to hear from you
All good things indeed! 🚀
Daniel King, Former Lettings Manager
Dexters declined a request from EYE to comment.