Franchised lettings giant Martin & Co says the looming lettings reforms announced last weekend is going to make it harder to stay in the game for many agents, and suggests many are considering selling up.
The extra red tape, the government announced, will include mandatory training for agents, a compulsory code of conduct, a new regulator and a major overhaul of leasehold ownership.
Ian Wilson (left), who is CEO of Martin & Co’s parent company The Property Franchise Group (TPFG), says: “The Government’s announcements at the weekend, although welcome and well-meaning, will probably be clumsily executed.
“It’s going to be a lot of work to stay in the lettings game, so potential sellers should think hard about their best option”.
TPFG is also helping its franchisees with finance to buy up independent rivals, Ian says, with “a well-oiled machine, and access to cash”.
Examples this week of Martin & Co franchisees buying up local independent competition include purchases in Runcorn, Cheshire; Grantham, Lincolnshire; and Horsham, East Sussex.
In Runcorn two local Martin & Co franchisees joined forces to buy TCG Residential, whose owner wanted a quick sale so that he could finance a round-the-world motorbike trip.
And in Grantham, franchisee Philip Connor (right) has bought Smart Lettings, transferred key staff to his franchise along with a portfolio of properties under management. Martin & Co now has over 300 rental properties in the town.
In West Sussex, David Nicholson (left) – who runs Martin & Co’s nearby Crawley office – has bought GL & Co Estate Agents in Horsham. The acquisition brings his business a foot in the town, an undisclosed number of managed properties, a branch in the town’s shopping centre and seven transferred staff.