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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.

Are you surprised at this? Hopefully not. After all, it is our landlords who provide the properties for you to rent and allow us to be in business. Without landlords, we have nothing. 

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

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Letability believes that the relationship between yourself, your landlord 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.

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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 tenant, 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 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, by Law, all letting agents must be a member of an Independent Redress Scheme.

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.

Click here to understand ‘How To Complain‘ and to access their ‘Self Assessment Tool’.

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Before you can make a complaint, you must go through Letability’s complaints procedure first. But don’t worry, we will not make this difficult for you.

If you have a concern, we’ll want to put it right as soon as possible and without it becoming yet another problem for you.

We sincerely hope that you never have a problem but if you do, we want you to be proud of the way we have handled it.

A word of advice. Despite it being the Law, not all letting agents are members of an Independent Redress Scheme. So for your peace of mind, it’s worth asking the question before making your decision.

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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 CPM 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 of advice; it is worth asking your letting agent to see proof of their Client Money Protection scheme membership – you never know.

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 tenants. When the tenancy ends, Letability, following discussion with you, manages the process involved concerning the return of the deposit.

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

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Yes we do although it is up to the landlord whether they will accept it (although most say yes!)

At Letability, we use Reposit who, in our opinion, 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.)  

The idea behind the deposit replacement scheme is that, instead of you having to find the cash to pay the deposit, you buy an insurance policy from Reposit. This gives the landlord the security for the deposit you would have paid if you had gone down the traditional route.

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In broad terms, you take out an insurance policy that is valid for the term of your Tenancy Agreement (usually a maximum of 12 months but it can be renewed). The cost of that policy is generally equivalent to one weeks’ rent. In return, the landlord can get up to eight weeks worth of rent paid to them if you default on your rent or if there are claims against you (for damages and the like) that you do not pay when you leave the property. Broadly speaking, the landlord is put in the same position as if a cash deposit had been taken from you in the first place.

If there is a claim by the landlord against the insurance policy, you will have the opportunity to argue your side in the same way as you would if your deposit had been protected in a traditional manner with The Dispute Service (TDS).

This all seems too good to be true. But is it?

Well, Yes and No!! 

There are pros and cons (but make sure you read the documentation provided before making a decision):

1. The Deposit Replacement product is like all insurance policies; it covers a particular risk. If a claim is not made against the policy (in that you have made good any arrears or damages – if there were any), the premium you have paid for the policy is lost. Just like car or house insurance. 

2. With a traditional deposit, it will be returned to you (less any rent arrears and damages) at the end of the tenancy. All it would have cost you – compared to the Deposit Replacement product – is the loss of interest during the time you had the tenancy.

3. If the landlord makes a claim against the policy, Reposit reserves the right to chase you for the money that they have paid to the landlord together with their costs in doing so. Failure to pay may result in a negative entry in your credit file.  

4. The Deposit Replacement product will need to be renewed each year, unlike a traditional deposit which remains in place. So, over a period of years, you would have paid premiums in excess of the traditional deposit that you would have made.

 

PLEASE REMEMBER: 

Deposit Replacement protection is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card.  The premium you pay is used by the insurance company to make a guarantee to the landlord that he will get up to ‘x’ weeks worth of rent as cover if you default in your obligations. If you do not default, then that is the end of the matter. The money you paid for the insurance cover has now gone. 

But if you do default – despite the fact that you have paid for cover – you are still fully liable for any rent arrears or damages that you incur and the insurance company will be fully entitled to chase you for the money that they have paid to the landlord. If you do not pay them, it will be treated as a default and likely to affect your credit file. 

Deposit Replacement is expensive compared to the cash alternative but it can be a great option in the short term while you save up the cash for a traditional deposit or while you wait for a previous cash deposit to be returned.*

Another thing that you should be aware of is that the providers of Deposit Replacement products pay a substantial referral fee to letting agents for the business that they introduce. And that also applies to Reposit who pay a referral fee to Letability.  

But Letability is different! 

At Letability, we don’t keep those referral fees! No, we put them to one side and pay them to you at the end of your tenancy*1

Now isn’t that refreshing? 

Moreover, whenever we receive referrals fees or commissions as a result of you being our tenant, we will allocate them to you and pay them in the same way.

So, while Deposit Replacement may be considered expensive, if you choose Letability, the cost will be significantly less than other letting agents because you will get the referral fee back. 

And finally, you should be aware that a landlord or letting agent cannot force you to use a Deposit Replacement product. It is your choice – they can only offer it as an option.

Additional information on Deposit Replacement can be found in this useful guide for Tenants produced by Reposit

 *If you are an existing Letability tenant and you want to move into a new property managed by Letability, we may able to delay taking some or all of the deposit for the new property until your deposit on the first property has been repaid. Although this facility is free to you, certain terms and conditions must be met, but it could prove a huge benefit to your cashflow at such an important time.

*1Payment of referral fees is subject to there being no problems at the end of the tenancy that necessitate a claim on the insurance policy.  We will also deduct from the referral fee any additional costs we incur as a result of your choosing to use Reposit (for example, if the landlord chooses to have Rent Guarantee and Legal Expenses cover, the cost of such cover is slightly higher where the tenant has used Reposit. Consequently, we deduct the additional cost from the referral fee that we get. Finally, if you ask us to pay the referral fee to you personally, we are required by HMRC guidelines to deduct 20% of the net amount in respect of VAT. Alternatively, you may choose to donate the referral fee to our charity – Shelter – in which case they will receive 100% of the net amount. 

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Yes indeed.

Letability is registered with The Property Ombudsman (TPO) and complies with their Trading Standards approved Code of Practice.

Please note:

The Welsh code of practice is currently being amended to reflect the changes that come into effect as a result of the 1st September 2019 Tenant Fee Ban. In substance, it is unlikely to be that different from the one above but as soon as it is available to us, we will put a link to it here.

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 landlords – like our tenants, Letability landlords 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 goes wrong but 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 the ‘fine words’ on this website are put to the test.

At Letability, we would always aim to sort out 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 sorted, 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 here.

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