The UK’s two leading tenant referencing and lettings services suppliers Let Alliance and Homelet have announced that they are to merge.
In a joint statement, the two company’s founders have attributed the merger to the number of agencies consolidating or cost cutting in the industry, a trend which it says is being accelerated by the tenant fees ban.
Insurance broker Barbon headed up by Martin Totty (above, right), which owns brands Homelet and Rentshield Direct, are joining forces with Andy Halstead’s Let Alliance.
All the businesses will continue to operate independently under the Barbon umbrella and Halstead is to join its board as an executive director.
Four years ago Totty led a management buy-out of Barbon funded by private equity house the Carlyle Group.
The deal will enable the merged entities to cut running costs and also jointly fund product and business development.
“Letting agents and their landlords are looking for peace of mind that strategic supply partners deliver quality and value, are financially resilient, well capitalised and with balance sheet strength to meet future liabilities on products and services they sell today where customers may have use of them much later,” says Totty.
“We also recognise that customers can no longer afford the time or resources required in conducting risk assessments and due diligence on the viability of small firms with limited solutions.”
Founder and chief executive of Let Alliance Andy Halstead (above, left), says: “We have built a very special business at Let Alliance. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. Our merger with HomeLet and Rentshield is consistent with our values; it’s all about our customers.
“Letting agents across the UK are working in a tough and challenging market [and are] consolidating; local firms are merging in order to build scale and thrive in the future.”