Online letting agent Mashroom – the company that has bought Emoov’s brand and IT for £232,500 – has explained how it will involve outgoing tenants to pay for their replacements.
The organisation says that it is due to launch soon, and is looking for landlords to test the system, which essentially cuts out letting agents.
How does it work?
Either the landlord or the existing tenant uploads the property details and images – which have to be approved by the landlord – to the Mashroom online platform.
Mashroom advertises the property on the major portals. The outgoing tenant manages enquiries and viewings with interested parties on the platform. The new, potential tenant then makes an offer to the landlord.
Once the landlord has accepted an offer, Mashroom will make the necessary checks before the landlord and new tenant sign a tenancy agreement.
After the new tenant has moved in, the outgoing tenant will receive their financial reward and the landlord has a quicker turnaround of tenancies as well as lower ongoing management costs.
Stepan Dobrovolskiy, Mashroom’s founder, said: “By redistributing platform income to tenants and saving landlords money, Mashroom creates an integrated community that will produce a behavioural shift in the way people find and let their properties in large cities.
“The current system of tenancy changeovers can be expensive and slow with a lack of transparency and communication between landlords, tenants and intermediaries.
“By getting the outgoing tenant involved in the process, and rewarding them for doing so, we feel our lettings community provides a much-needed solution to a long-standing problem.
“Not only does Mashroom save landlords money while rewarding departing tenants, it also speeds up the rental process for all parties and allows the incoming tenant to gather key information from someone who has already lived in the property.”
Mashroom also has plans to provide landlords with a range of property management services “at a fraction of the cost of traditional high street letting agency fees”.
It charges landlords just a flat fixed upfront fee of £149 to cover advertising, offers, agreement, deposit registration, tenant referencing payment and first month’s rent collection.
As well as referencing and tenancy contracts, the online platform provides landlords with the opportunity to request advance rent payments and take out rent guarantee insurance and tenancy deposit insurance to make it easier for tenants to move in as the financial burden is not so heavy.
“The property management sector is changing rapidly as more landlords seek alternative management platforms which cost less than traditional letting agents,” Dobrovolskiy said.
“With increased legislation such as the ban on tenant fees and landlord licensing schemes, the cost of letting a property continues to rise so it’s vital that shrewd landlords reduce management costs and keep void periods to a minimum.”
“What’s more, tenants and landlords increasingly desire digital platforms which allow all parties to interact directly and enable several key parts of the tenancy process to be carried out quickly and efficiently online,” he says.
Mashroom is currently inviting landlords to help trial its system at no cost before general public availability.
Tenants can also refer their landlord to be part of this community of pre-release testers. There is a referral fee for successful landlord signups and the tenant could also earn a week’s worth of rent as a result, said Mashroom.