A new business which says it will shake up the online lettings sector has announced long-term plans to become the sector’s largest international brand.
Residently operates a rent-to-rent model, telling landlords that by letting to it long-term, they are provided with a guaranteed income.
For tenants, Residently will organise not just homes but services such as cleaning, laundry, floristry, storage and artwork rental.
Tenants also get to live in new, or newly refurbished, properties with high-speed internet; they can also choose to move around the Residently network of properties, eliminating paperwork.
On the website the firm sets out its stall as: “Simple and flexible homes. Everything you need in one place. No agents, no fees.”
We asked if the firm – which advertises on Rightmove and Zoopla – describes itself as a letting agent.
A spokesperson told us that Residently does not like to be considered as such. Instead, it sees itself as in a “new category (not high street or online agent), trying to build a rental brand which is fundamentally different from the transactional nature of the estate agent model”.
Chief commercial officer Trevor Stunden said: “We want to change the way residents think about renting.
“We want to provide them with the high level of service they have come to expect from other sectors and their subsequent disruptive brands such as Deliveroo, Airbnb and Spotify.
“In order to do that we’re digitising the process of finding, setting up and running a home so it is as simple as ordering a taxi or a takeaway.
“There are thousands of online and mobile brands fighting for our attention in every sector, yet somehow property has been left behind.”
He went on: “UK property is a multi-billion-pound industry.
“However there are still clear inefficiencies within the lettings system. With the majority of transactions, the only party that truly benefits is the estate agent, and this needs to change.
“Prices are unclear, processes are unsuitable and practices unreasonable.
“For residents, finding the right property means spending a lot of time, energy and effort online and on foot and many have now reached a point where they’ve said enough is enough.
“For landlords, the process of letting out a prized asset can be risky, costly and stressful. We believe we are able to eliminates these issues for all parties involved and create more value by offering a much better experience.”
He added: “We understand what the modern-day landlord wants from their investment: regular income paid on time, reliable tenants and minimal fuss. We pride ourselves on protecting landlords’ investments with a long-term commitment, which in turn provides them with guaranteed rental income.
“We don’t charge admin fees and all our tenants undergo a detailed vetting process, meaning we only place reliable residents in Residently properties.
“We have fundamentally aligned our interests to that of our landlords.”
Yesterday on Rightmove, Residently had five properties available, all with price reductions.
While Residently says on its site that part of its attraction is ‘no agents’, Rightmove appeared relaxed. A spokesperson said: “All prospective customers go through a strict vetting process to ensure that they offer an agency service in keeping with UK industry legislation and Rightmove’s terms and conditions.”