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Agencies & People

‘Lettings industry must abandon fixed-term property management contracts’

Kent hybrid agency run by former Purplebricks territory owner says they reduce competition among agents and choice for landlords.

Nigel Lewis

lettings agency

A former Purplebricks territory owner who set up her own hybrid lettings agency in Kent is calling on the industry to abandon its dependence on fixed-term property management contracts.

Timney Foster (above left with colleague Vicci), who started her career at Your Move before joining Purplebricks in 2016 and the leaving two years later, says her business HomeHappy is grabbing market share in the county by offering landlords flexible management contracts.

“When I worked at both Your Move and Purplebricks it always struck me as odd that landlords had no choice but to sign up to a fixed-term contract of usually 12 months,” she says.

“It’s not logical – if the agent turns out to be terrible or the landlord wants to take over the management of the property themselves or switch to a better agent then they’re stuck.”

Foster’s ARLA-registered lettings agency claims to be the county’s first to offer a 24-7 service, dealing in both residential and commercial lettings.

Flexible contracts

“I want to encourage other agents to offer more flexible contracts because this will help raise standards and competition within the industry and drive those who offer poor service,” she says.

Foster says she set up her business after saving every spare penny she earned from operating her Purplebricks territory, and says although working for Purplebricks wasn’t always the best experience and say the company concentrated all its marketing activity on sales, it did open her eyes to the possibilities of a non-traditional business.

HomeHappy is based at offices within a business park near West Malling and has four members of staff and, unlike many other hybrid lettings agencies, runs its repairs and maintenance operation in-house.

March 22, 2021

One comment

  1. Never seen a fixed term contract from letting agents, normal practice is a notice period from either side after a minimum term. New agency agreement required at end of each tenancy anyway so cannot see the problem, agent can get out, landlord can get out and landlord has choice to go elsewhere when tenant decides to leave…

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