Agent makes lone stand against landlords who advertise direct on property portals

first_imgNewcastle-under-Lyme letting agent Rocket Homes Rentals has locked horns with the two largest property portals over listings by two local student lettings companies.It says they are advertising on the big portals even thought they are landlords who only market their own properties.Hybrid agent/landlords like these are springing up across the UK at the moment to enable a single landlord, or group of landlords, to bypass letting agents entirely and advertise their properties to rent directly on the large portals.Rockett Home Rentals, which has a single branch in Newcastle-under-Lyme but covers Crewe, Stafford and Stoke on Trent and has been in business since 2003, says its two rivals are advertising on Rightmove and Zoopla.“I’ve talked to both portals and no matter how they want to dress this up, they seem happy to let these ‘agents’ list because they have paid money and that’s it, regardless of how their business works,” says director Bill Rockett (pictured, below)“The only properties they have are the ones they own – they’re not an agent for anyone and they don’t service any customers except themselves.“It worries me that in the small area around my business I’ve seen ‘agents’ like this set up twice now and if it’s happening here it must be taking place up and down the country. For me it’s about the portals biting the hand that feeds them.“It’s very scary that this is happening. These people are not agents and are not ARLA registered, for example.“If they want to set up and do this, that’s fine by me but I don’t think the portals should be allowing these guys to advertise on their platforms.“The more this is allowed to happen, the more independent agents are going to disappear as landlords realise they can bypass us – and it’s going to be hard enough to survive soon when the tenant fees ban comes in.”Bill says that he approached Rightmove to complain about one of the agents involved, but that the portal said that because they claimed to be agents, therefore ‘who are we to argue with that’.Terms of busines“Rightmove’s terms of business are very clear – they will only allow letting agents, estate agents and new build developers to advertise on them, and the companies I’m talking about don’t fall into any of those categories. These are landlords, pure and simple.”The Negotiator was able to get hold of one of the two agents highlighted by Bill. Bellevue, which has several branches in the area but has a registered company address in North London, lists several properties on Rightmove.It specialises in high-end student properties. Its website makes no mention of landlords and is solely focussed on tenants and maintenance and repair reporting. After speaking to a member of staff at its Crewe office, no one from the company has so far phoned The Negotiator back.Strict vettingThe Negotiator also approached Rightmove about Bellevue. They said: “Rightmove has a strict vetting process that all customers must go through if they apply to become a Rightmove agent.“In this case, we have re-vetted the agent to ensure they adhere to our terms and conditions. As with any Rightmove customer, if we are provided with any new information that suggests they are not complying then we will immediately review their business again.”Rightmove Rockett Home Rentals property portals Bill Rockett Zoopla March 28, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Agent makes lone stand against landlords who advertise direct on property portals previous nextAgencies & PeopleAgent makes lone stand against landlords who advertise direct on property portalsRockett Home Rentals says two landlords on its patch now list as if they were lettings agents, and is urging portals to act.Nigel Lewis28th March 201701,174 Viewslast_img read more