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About Letability

Here you will find a range of questions about Letability – if it’s not what you were looking for, click one of the menu options below.

If you have a question that is not answered, just get in touch and we will come straight back to you.  And if we feel your question would be of interest to a wider audience, we’ll include it here.

This question is the first in the list because it’s the most important question here!

Letability is a young business – very young considering it was only launched on the 2nd January 2020 – and it has some Revolutionary ideas. Its sole focus is to match great landlords with great tenants and to deliver them the best experience possible.

It is not often that you hear the words ‘open, honest and accountable’ in the same sentence as ‘Letting Agency’ and we fully understand why.

But we use those words often in this website and in our printed materials too because Letability is not like any other Letting Agency.

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We want those words to define Letability; not just in the eyes of our landlords and tenants, but with everyone that interacts with us.

‘Oh yeah?’ you may say, ‘So what? Anyone can write this sort of stuff and put together a flash website! You might be able to ‘talk the talk’, but can you ‘walk the walk’?’ And we would have to sympathise with your sentiment.

So how can we convince you?

Well, get in touch. Arrange a ‘face to face’ meeting and put us through our paces. Experience the passion to do a great job that is Letability. Get a real feel for how this business works, the people behind it, and then decide.  

If Letability is not for you, no problem. 

But if you do like us, and like what Letability stands for, it could be the best meeting you will have had all year!

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At Letability, we try to be as open and honest as possible.

This website is fairly comprehensive as far as information is concerned and we hope that everything is relatively easy to find.

But if there is something that we have not covered, ask us the question and you’ll get a straight answer. You see, like yourself, Letability is in this for the long term – not just the one tenancy – so we want our relationship to be a great one from the off. 

That way, everyone benefits.

Are you surprised at this? Hopefully not. After all, it is your tenant that allows you to realise the potential of your property and for us to be in business. Without tenants, we have nothing. 

Now, of course, there are bad tenants in the same way that there are bad landlords and bad letting agents.

But at Letability, we focus on matching great tenants with great landlords and we do that by treating everyone with respect. 

Letability believes that the relationship between yourself, your tenant and ourselves should be a partnership. And a mutually beneficial one at that.

When you choose to partner with Letability, not only will we bring added value to our relationship, you can rely on us to do a great job and to make your life easier – not just for now, but for the long term.

At Letability, we value our landlords, and we value our tenants. We want our landlords to stay with us for as long as they have their property. Similarly with our tenants; if we have found a great one, we want to keep them for as long as they are renting property. 

Makes sense, doesn’t it? We think so.

So if our landlords and tenants are going to look after our business by staying with us, we think it should work the other way too. So, by us fully managing your property, we have skin in the game as well as you.

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Look at it this way. If we have a great landlord but then put in a bad tenant (because we are retained on a tenant find only basis and basically, ‘couldn’t care less’!), the landlord will not be too pleased and will likely move to a new agent when the tenancy ends. What is the point? That may be the way other agents operate but it’s not for us. 

Similarly, if we have a great tenant and put them with a ‘not so good’ landlord, it does our reputation no good at all and aside from us having to do a lot of work dealing with issues, we are likely to lose an excellent tenant at the end of the tenancy. We couldn’t knowingly do that to a tenant!

As you will have already seen on this website and in our brochures, at Letability, ‘our focus is on matching great landlords with great tenants’ because we know that it is the best way of doing business for the long term. And yes, in case you were wondering, we will turn landlords and tenants away if they don’t meet our ‘great’ criteria. Rest assured, our reputation is extremely important to us.

While the ‘bad press’ reserved for the Letting Agent community is mostly justified – although we should say it is starting to get better – at Letability we are on a mission to do things properly whether or not we are bound by legislation. 

If we are charging you good money for what we offer, well then you deserve the best. And that is what you will get from Letability. 

We promise!

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Most certainly. Several in fact!

Letability is an ARLA Propertymark (Association of Residential Letting Agents) licensed firm which gives you, our landlord, a great deal of protection. Letability can be found in the ARLA register here. Craig Balchin is MARLA qualified and his registration number is M0221278.  Click here to find out what it is like to work with an ARLA Propertymark Registered Agent (click here for the Wales version).

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Letability is registered with The Property Ombudsman (TPO) which provides an independent redress scheme that is free of charge to the public. Letability can be found in the TPO register (you will need to enter Letability Limited into the search box). Our registration number is 11653340. Letability also complies with the TPO’s Trading Standards approved Code of Practice.

Letability is also registered with Rent Smart Wales which is the body that grants licences to Landlords and Letting Agents in Wales so that they comply with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. Letability is registered under Licence Number:#LR-68086-25845

A word of advice. The links above can also be used to check other agents’ claims because it is not unknown for less scrupulous agents to say they are members when they are not. These bodies are there for your protection so it is worth investing five minutes to check.

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Yes, we have signed up to the ARLA Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme and our registration number is C0131349. Click to see our CMP Certificate.

The CMP scheme reimburses landlords, tenants and other clients should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other client funds.

ARLA produce a useful guide that explains how your money is protected (Wales version or England version).

A word to the wise; it is worth asking your letting agent to see proof of their Client Money Protection scheme membership – you never know.

Yes we do.

We are covered for up to £2,000,000 public liability and £250,000 professional indemnity.

Our Certificate of Insurance has the full details.

At Letability, we use the TDS Custodial Scheme* provided by The Dispute Service Limited (TDS) and our registration number is 11653340. 

The TDS is authorised by the Government to hold tenancy deposits until repayment is requested when the tenancy ends.

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Following recent legislation, there are now strict timescales on when deposits must be protected and what paperwork needs to be provided to your tenants. When the tenancy ends, Letability, following discussion with you, manages the process involved concerning the return of all or part of the deposit.

The TDS produce an advisory leaflet for landlords that explains the process in greater detail.

 

* The 2019 Annual Report from the TDS makes interesting reading.  Specifically, the percentage of deposits ending in dispute is only 1%.  Yes, we were surprised too!

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Yes we do – although it is up to you whether you accept it or not (but we would strongly advise that you should consider it).

The idea behind Deposit Replacement is that, instead of your tenant having to find the cash to pay the deposit, they buy an insurance policy instead. This covers you, if anything goes wrong, for the deposit you would have received if you had gone down the traditional route.

Deposit Replacement is not new, but it has seen a steep rise in popularity since the introduction of the Tenant Fees Ban in 2019. It is certainly a good product and it has its place where tenants are finding it difficult to raise the five weeks’ deposit needed. But it’s also good for letting agents as a fair chunk of the premium is passed to them in referral fees*.

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At the outset, the tenant buys the policy naming yourself as the beneficiary. The cover is usually up to the value of 8 weeks’ rent and costs the tenant one weeks’ rent. The policy is usually for the term of the tenancy or 12 months whichever is the shorter but it can be extended or renewed.

If, at the end of the tenancy, there is rent owing or there is damage to the property, the insurance policy pays you up to the insured amount and then the tenant is pursued by the insurer to recover the funds paid out.

In some ways, it might be considered that a tenant that uses a Deposit Replacement product is more likely to be a good tenant because if they do default, it may go on their credit file and will mean they will not be able to use the facility in future. Another benefit of this scheme is that you can get up to 8 weeks’ cover compared to the 5 weeks’ maximum deposit that you can request under the Law.

Our Deposit Replacement Insurance is provided by Reposit. We have chosen Reposit because in our opinion, they offer one of the best products available and they are fully regulated too. (ARLA have produced a useful Factsheet that contrasts and compares the different Deposit Replacement schemes that are available. In addition, Reposit have produced this useful guide for Tenants that you might wish to read.)  

For a further take on this scheme, the BBC issued an interesting article in February 2020 which shows that, for some letting agents at least, old habits certainly die hard! At Letability, we see value in this scheme but we also know that it’s not for everyone. That’s why, in the Tenants Section of our website, we ‘contrast and compare’ the Scheme so that our tenants are fully informed of the pros and cons before they buy. For some tenants, it’s a great idea and those that do choose it can be reassured that, at Letability, they are paying less for their cover than most anywhere else.


*At Letability, we are different. We do not believe in making ‘secret profits’ in the form of referral fees. So as with the referral fees that we might earn from yourself, any we earn from our tenants will also go back to them. And we think that’s fair.

But there is ‘caveat’ here! 

We only pass over the referral fee at the end of the tenancy and even then, only if you have recovered all that you are owed for any outstanding rent or dilapidations via the scheme. In such circumstances, we will not refund the referral fee but instead pass it to you as compensation for the extra work that you have incurred.

A further caveat.

If you decide to accept a Reposit customer and you want to take out Rent Guarantee and Legal Expenses cover, the cost of the latter increases because – in the words of the insurer – the Reposit customer is currently an unknown quantity! Fair enough, but why should you have to pay more for doing the tenant what amounts to a favour?

Well, you don’t.  

As we said above, we will get a referral fee from Reposit which we return to the tenant – less reasonable fees – at the end of the tenancy. Well, in our view, that additional cost is a reasonable fee so we will deduct it from the amount received so you will not have to pay any extra.

We think that’s fair!

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Ah, good question.

To start with, Letability doesn’t manage student lets and it doesn’t manage houses in multiple occupation where a licence is required.  So if you have such a property, then sadly, we cannot help you.

As we all know, the lettings marketplace doesn’t have a very good reputation. This can be as a result of bad tenants, bad landlords or bad letting agents or even a mixture of them all!

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And although the root cause is debatable, we would hazard a guess that it is the common denominator – the letting agent – that is prime among them. 

But the good news is, there is a solution to the bad letting agent problem – work with Letability.

At Letability our focus is on matching great landlords with great tenants and as noted above, not all landlords and tenants fall into that category.

If you are a great landlord, how would you feel if we just put anyone into your property?

And when we find a great tenant, how would they feel if we put them into a second rate property?

So, Letability works totally within the rules. We will not turn a blind eye to a damp problem nor will we overlook a broken door lock. Similarly, we will not conveniently ignore something we know about a tenant just in case you might not accept them.

We know that there are plenty of great landlords out there and we know that there plenty of great tenants too. Our role is to make the match and ensure that their experience is also a great one – not just for this tenancy, but for many more tenancies to come.

(Yes, we know it sounds utopian, but at Letability we believe it’s possible and it’s what we strive for.)

So, in answer to this question, Letability is only for great landlords. If you are not, then we are sorry but we are unable to help you.

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If we mention Apple, Virgin Airways, M&S, Microsoft, Google or Amazon, do you get good vibes or bad vibes?

Well, 80%+ of you will get good vibes because the ‘brand’ has a good reputation.

At Letability, it is still very early days for us but our goal is to establish a reputation just as good.

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When you see or hear the name Letability, we want you to know that our brand promises:

           1.  Outstanding customer service – we will always do our best to ensure that you are 100% happy

           2.  Fantastic tenants – like our landlords, Letability tenants are the best

           3.  Open, honest and accountable – we are with you for the long term

           4.  A great team – our people will make you proud to be a Letability partner

           5.  Full regulation – registered with the leading bodies in our industry

           6.  An Innovative, pro-active and exciting approach that challenges the status quo   

In fact, Letability wants to be the sort of Letting Agency you’d be proud to take home to Mum!

*If you have any comments, suggestions, hints or tips that will help us get even better, we’d really love to hear from you.

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Of course, we hope nothing will go wrong but the truth is, sometimes, no matter how hard we try, there will be little problems that will need sorting out.

And it’s when those little problems arise that our ‘fine words’ are put to the test.

At Letability, we will always aim to resolve any issues you have internally and without delay. If you are not happy then neither are we.

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But if we can’t get it resolved, there are third party redress schemes provided by The Property Ombudsman and ARLA that you can use free of charge and we are bound by their decision.

Full details and more can be found on our Complaints Procedure page.

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Still have questions?  Why not take a look at our other FAQs?

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