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Universal Credit update

13 November 2018

With Universal Credit (UC) being in the news so frequently, it's easy to loose track of recent changes and advice. So, to help you, we've highlighted some of the key messages from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and provided links for further information. Read More...

Government announces proposals for new Housing Court

13 November 2018

The Government has today launched a consultation which looks at reforming the routes to justice for both landlords and tenants, with the most radical option being to set up a new Housing Court. Read More...

Councils given £2 million to fund crackdown on rogue landlords

08 November 2018

As a result of new funding announced by the Government today, councils will be able to bid for a share of a £2 million fund designed to help local authorities step up enforcement action against rogue landlords. Read More...

New app launched to revolutionise tenant application process

Friday 19 January 2018

In recent months, the Government has announced a raft of proposals and legislation aimed at protecting and extending tenants’ rights and regulating the private rented sector, stamping down on rogue agents and landlords in the process.

Like many responsible agents, Jaime Tillyer, Company Director at Shefflets, a successful local lettings agency in Sheffield, welcomes much of what the Government has announced, but has serious concerns about how the forthcoming ban on fees will affect businesses.

Jaime explains more:

“We believe these pledges will help clean-up the image of growing private rented sector which has suffered from under-regulation. Too many rogue landlords have exploited the industry, not just to the disadvantage of tenants, but also to fellow landlords and letting agents who, on the whole, follow the letter and spirit of the law.

“However, one pledge that will hit small agencies like ours hard is the introduction of legislation to ban fees. We’ve known this has been coming for a while now since it was announced in the Queen’s Speech earlier this year. With an average letting fee of £223, that is a substantial blow to the bottom line of small agencies. Rather than claim these costs back by charging landlords more which would lead to higher rents for tenants, we think there is a better solution.

“Here at Shefflets, we initially created Vouch, a fully automated online lettings system, to manage and simplify the tenant application process within our own business, based in Sheffield’s busy student corridor: Ecclesall Road.”

Giving other lettings agencies the benefit of their experience (or similar subtitle)

In using technology to simplify and improve the efficiency of the application process, Vouch have created a solution which will not only save letting agencies time, but also allow you to save money.

“Having spent years building a strong growing agency, we have the experience to know that this will be of real value to fellow agencies across the UK.”

Technology has already revolutionized the way tenants and buyers search for their ideal properties with sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla becoming the go to places for people to find their new homes and a must-use for any mainstream agent.

Vouch believe technology has the power to transform our industry further still, and is at the forefront of the movement. By automating the referencing process, Vouch could help you save between 65% and 85% against a typical referencing cost.

This will provide sharp relief following the introduction of a fee ban. Other agents agree, Ed Tyman of Sowerby’s said: “With the potential loss of income surrounding tenant fees on the horizon, we wanted to find a referencing solution that saved time for our staff and decreased costs. The fact Vouch ticked both those boxes and provided a significant additional income stream meant it was a real no brainer! The platform is simple, effective and quick whilst producing a detailed and professional final report.”

Jaime said: "We look forward to seeing other agencies benefit from using this technology, which we hope can help increase profit margins, without the need for customers to bear the brunt of the costs.

“By working together, across the industry, we can build a private rented sector to be proud of.”

Find out more about Vouch’s new digital tool for letting agents and to see how much you could save by visiting the vouch website below.

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