New renting platform aims to cut out letting agents

A new online property letting website has been launched, offering to cut out the role of traditional letting agents and the fees which they charge landlords.

Rentd, which puts landlords and tenants directly in touch with each other, aims to create a marketplace for the private rental sector without levying traditional estate agent fees.

The new business intends to make money by finding and securing tenants for landlords at a fixed fee of £799 including VAT, only payable once let.

Rentd says that its proposition is not just about potentially saving landlords money in agency fees but is also ‘centered on an end to end experience, utilising revolutionary technology to save landlords and tenants time, while creating greater certainty and reliability’.

Rentd yesterday announced that it has raised £250,000 in fresh investment at a post money valuation of £5m, allowing them to begin the roll out of the business across London with the UK national market and international territories to follow soon.

Investors in this round include wealth management partners, owners of global advisory firm, the AHR Group.

This initial funding will fuel a significant marketing effort and ongoing technology along with native app development, according to founder and CEO of Rentd, Ahmed Gamal.

He commented: “Up until now, the process of completing a rental transaction from start to finish has been protracted and clunky for both the tenant and the landlord, with it taking a considerable amount of time and effort to gather the fragmented components required from both parties.

“We’ve spent three years developing the Rent proposition in order to change this and the result is the UK’s first rental platform combining these various components into one super slick user experience.

“We’ve been sure that this approach is focussed as much on the landlord user experience as it is the tenant and not only does it take the pain out of finding a tenant, but they also save a considerable sum in agent commissions.”

 

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23 Comments

  1. Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Well done Ahmed, all of those grindingly long days are now starting to pay off, as we discussed a couple of years ago adoption and traction is the hard part when looking at a B2C play, but if anyone can get there I am sure it is Rentd. And that market cap of £5M may well seem cheap, given the size of the addressable market, the number of DIY landlords in the PRS. Good luck.

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  2. TonyT

    Does that landlord fee include qualified professional advice, AST production, marketing material, accompanied viewings, board, no mark up on arranging EPC, GSC, EICR, inventory, and check in?

    We do all that for a lesser fee on an average rental property – and with vital ingredients of local knowledge and personal content!

    I do wish Eye would stop promoting these “get rich quick” set ups.

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    1. TopBanana

      Rattled much? We should try to be open to new technology…..I remember people saying the internet would never catch on

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      1. TonyT

        I question whether they know what they should be doing. There is no explanation of their fees on their website (which is illegal) and they also refer to charges to tenants still. I really would be interested to learn of the true cost to a landlord!

        TopBanana – you will be telling me I can get my haircut online next!

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        1. TopBanana

          Sure we are all entitled to our opinions. TonyT – am I missing something though, as I cannot see where it refers to charging tenants?? Also, getting your haircut online is actually possible through online bookings and a home visit service. The possibilities are endless when open to change (and I’m not just talking about a new 80s perm)! 😉

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          1. AgentQ73

            TopBanana it says in the about section

            “The government has been trying to create a solution for the amount of fees tenants are paying and Rentd tackles this problem head on prior to any fee bans taking place”

            To be fair to them the fee ban is only about three years old.

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  3. htsnom79

    “Rentd, which puts landlords and tenants directly in touch with each other”

    Ground breaking stuff

     

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  4. TopBanana

    Really like the idea of this, and the process seems straightforward. I’d say we should be encouraging innovations in the sector. Anything that can improve experience for both users (landlords and tenants) is worthwhile

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    1. Bosky

      Why would this improve the experience of both landlords and tenants?

      Personally, by removing an agent from the process increases the risk of landlord’s compliance failures, potentially leading to greater safety issues for the tenant.

       

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      1. TopBanana

        A shift to a more seamless and above all transparent process. With agents involved in the process we still have a load of issues currently. Unfortunate to have been on both sides with issues in the past. There are no right or wrong answers, but innovating and trying a different approach is worthwhile

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        1. Bosky

          The process requires a hands on approach because of the compliance requirements; removing the hands vastly increases the risk of non compliance in my view.
           
          It seems their definition of seamless is more about not doing than doing. Having a look on the website, I cannot find any reference to which redress provider they are with, being a legal requirement. Nor can I find any information about how the money side of things work; well, it is not obvious where the info is, so what is seamless about that, how do prospective tenants arranging to view a property via the website know if a holding deposit is required and, if so, what the amount is, what the tenancy deposit is and if there are any permitted fees that could be applied. If any payments are made directly to the landlord, then no need for CMP, but, if any client money is paid, must have CMP and display the certificate on the website and any portal the properties are advertised on.
           
          Actually, will the properties be promoted anywhere else? if not, this severely reduces Rentd’s, and the landlord’s, tenant enquiry base; with this in mind, it is all very well claiming the “seamless” approach is reduced to days, but how long does it take them to find a “suitable” tenant!
           
          I would be interested to know how this “seamless approach” works for provision of EPC, How to Rent Guide, Right to Rent checks, gas safety, EICR (satisfactory and not satisfactory). Who does the smoke alarm test on tenancy start date. I can go on. It strikes me that the site facilitates an introduction and then leaves it to the landlord, because I cannot see on the sight what else they do, but do prospective tenants know this, will they assume that as they are booking via Rentd that all compliance issues and service expectations will be met.
           
          Enough said, I think people have a sense of my feelings towards such outfits and the waffle stated in the blurb.

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  5. Covlets

    So basically they are offering a let only service for far more than the average let fee in our area? What about local knowledge, issuing all the relevant legal documents, inventories etc. Also we do all our referencing in house and can turn these round in a couple of days so why is the service we offer protracted and clunky?

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  6. Bosky

    From their website

    “we can say that our technology shall make it seamless for the user to achieve their goal with near no human interaction

    This goes against my understanding of what we humans expect of the process. Where is the personal touch that we expect and complain if we do not get it.

    “Rentd’s key mission is to break through barriers which exist in today’s rental market for both landlords and prospective tenants by streamlining the cumbersome rental process with it’s cutting edge platform”

    Lack of due diligence is a way to achieve this.

    “The business has a proven track record of reducing lengthy time-consuming processes from weeks, down to a matter of days.”

    The process never takes weeks; what are they on about.

     

    Enjoy your salaries at investors expense while you can, which seems a common trait with some proptech!

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  7. PeeBee

    Has anyone actually looked at this site?  Judging by some of the comments above I sincerely doubt it.

    A good Lettings Agent would have the property rented before the chuffin’ images download on this “cutting edge platform”!

    Woeful.

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  8. Russell121

    Companies like these already exist so nothing really new as far as I can see. There will always be some landlords who want to self manage just like some vendors do. The good thing is, I think I need to put my prices up.

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  9. KByfield04

    Rentd has been in the market for about a year they are just lifting their heads above the parapet after a funding round. What IS refreshing is to see a digital offering not being offered at some pittance of £100-300 equating itself to agency. Compliance is always going to be the challenge for any product like this and it is almost impossible to distance yourself (as an agency) from any breaches because you are ‘let only’.

    Lots of letting agents deliver a tech-led rental experience with the likes of Goodlord, PayProp, FixFlo and The Depositary giving an end-to-end digital solution to streamline operations- but the key is the human element which enables you to charge for a quality service.

    These fees would be very cheap compared to what our Landlords pay us- however our Landlords don’t want a cutback service for a cutback fee- any that do request this are politely told we are not the right agency for them.

    Around 50% of Landlords (which is around 1m) do so without engaging a letting agent so I imagine a product like this (which has several rivals) has legs if done right. The challenge, however, is acquiring these clients which is a tough and costly process.

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  10. AcornsRNuts

    I can hear the sounds of letting agents shutting up shop all over the country – NOT.

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  11. londoneye

    Absolutely nothing new here for good agents to worry about. Good luck. Enough said.

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  12. myjam

    My client-owners of 25 years or more pay me to preserve their privacy & sanity. I`m on first name terms with all of them which is precisely what they do not wish to be with their tenants. I`m an intermediary who applies the rules to both parties with tact & diplomacy to keep the peace & earn my commission. Speedy & accurate communication is one of the keys to keeping people on side. Proxy/arms length management will not be my choice when I retire with my portfolio, I know which agents to choose because of their service in my locale.

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  13. Scottish_Mist42

    So the 2022 version of a landlord putting an advert in the paper or a card up in their local newsagent in 1980

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  14. Bakermidge

    There is a well known(especially in London) online lettings agent who are doing this already for far cheaper and their platform works really well. If you pay a bit extra they will even do viewings for you but far lower price than this company would charge.   Property is a people’s business and that is why letting agents charge what they do. Those landlords who like DIY use this well known platform already and the market for multiple DIY platforms is not there. The investors would be better investing their money in the existing DIY platform.

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  15. 456Lets

    I didn’t actually come here to bash this new company – but taking a look at the website – got to agree with another comment about how long everything takes to load.  For a tech company this is not a good impression.
    2nd – if you are a landlord – how on earth do you find out what to do if you want to use it?  I can’t find it anywhere.
    3rd – as a tenant I don’t think I’d like the fact that I would have to log in and register before I can find out how to view the property – its not really clear what the website is, or who you are contacting from a user point of view.
    4th – they’ve got this rent calculator thing – rent smarter – put in what you earn and they tell you what you should be spending?  Think its supposed to be affordability but doesn’t seem to work. 
    5th – took a look at the area guide – good luck if you can actually read them.  Seem to be written purely for SEO. 

    Are they an agent? What are they trying to be? It doesn’t say and as others have said, they don’t publish any compliance information.  I’m all for tech and new things, but I really don’t see how this provides a service that is missing for the cost that it does.  DIY landlords will be DIY – they want to be hands on – and there is another service out there already fulfilling the need very nicely for a lot less money.  For what this costs, you can use an agent to get the additional personal service.  I don’t feel threatened as an agent – it doesn’t replace an agent, and I think the site is just a bit confusing really.  To sum it up – when I googled “rentd” this is the subheading under its listing: On trend furniture rental subscriptions are taking over an old-fashioned business model of disposable, flat pack furniture. What used to be the go-to, when …
    So what is it? Lettings or furniture rentals?

    Can someone tell me how to get these investors to give me their money as it doesn’t seem all that difficult?

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