by: Mary-Anne Bowring
A new automated lettings platform is promising to save landlords and agents time, money and hassle by harvesting data and automating key processes around compliance, marketing, leasing and management.
PlanetRent is the brainchild of Mary-Anne Bowring, founder and group managing director of residential property consultancy Ringley Group, which manages thousands of homes across the country and has offices in London and Manchester.
The company has invested over £2m in creating a suite of technological products for the residential market and brought forward the launch of PlanetRent to help landlords and agents cope with social distancing measures introduced in response to coronavirus. PlanetRent connects agents, landlords, tenants, contractors, accountants and any site staff by giving each their own portal to access the platform and the data they need, enabling them to transact from the comfort and safety of their home. The platform allows all key documents and files to be accessed virtually and enables fully compliant contracts to be generated in seconds that can be e-signed by landlords, tenants and agents. Crucially, just one click after working through the move-in checks, PlanetRent ensures all new tenants are provided with legally required documents such as a copy of the Governments How to Rent checklist, Deposit Protection Scheme details, as well as energy performance and gas safety certificates.
This helps landlords tick every legal box is ticked governance-wise and avoid compliance-related fines of up to £20,000. PlanetRent also helps protect landlords against lengthy void periods with empty properties by simplifying the renewal process to just three clicks, with the platform prompting tenants to renew as they approach the end of their tenancies. Properties are then automatically marketed and move-out checks triggered if tenants choose to vacate. To make marketing properties easier, PlanetRent gives small landlords access to Rightmove and Zoopla as well as the ability to easily create their own website to showcase their properties.
A tie-up between PlanetRent and Reposit also enables landlords to offer properties deposit-free while giving them eight weeks rent over, allowing them to cater to cash-strapped renters wanting to avoid the financial burden of providing five weeks’ rent upfront. Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley and creator of PlanetRent, said: “Coronavirus has undoubtedly caused huge disruption to the housing market but as the crisis fades we will still be left with the same problem of a rental market stuck in the analogue era when we are in the digital age. “We have brought forward the launch of PlanetRent to reflect the COVID-19 landscape, with demand for remote working that won’t go away once the virus and its impact has faded.
“PlanetRent has been designed to save landlords and agents, time, money and hassle, all the school-boy errors have been designed out, reports to know everything that needs to be done has been done are automatically emailed weekly and a first-class tenant experience is assured. We’ve mapped outcomes for every event: let, re-let, tenant substitution, vacate, repairs, marketing and everything in-between. “We expect additional demand for rental properties over the coming year thanks to disruption in the for-sale market caused by coronavirus, with people putting off buying or selling their home and high street banks restricting mortgage lending.” As social distancing measures are gradually lifted Ringley is expected a surge in rental demand as households avoid the expense and hassle of buying or selling a home and lenders tighten mortgage requirements in response to the economic uncertainty.
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