Online Lettings:

The pioneering online letting agency Upad has announce an immediate closure of its business operations, citing a serious illness of its founder James Davis as the reason.

The business was registered as a private limited company by James Davis in April 2008, and it has occupied a leading spot in the UK’s online-only lettings service ever since.

The ten-year-old business had pioneered the online-only lettings business model, but it has now thrown in the towel and its website says it is not accepting any new business from landlords.

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CEO and a portfolio landlord himself, James Davis, headed the company with an energetic and capable marketing presence in the industry, building up a strong brand name and representing a real disrupting force in the industry. In addition, its online information resources and regular webinars provided landlords with legal updates which proved of value to their user clients.

However, the more recent arrival of well-funded competitors such as Howsey and OpenRent has probably contributed to the rising losses of the company. Companies house records show that losses had been building for at least the last three years, whilst the business was being kept afloat with mounting additional funding from its directors.

The situation calls into question the viability of a purely on-line letting agency, and it mirrors that of on-line estate agents. Emoov – which had previously merged with TV property personality Sarah Beeny’s start-up online estate agency, Tepilo, earlier this year – collapsed into administration. Hatched has been shut down and even the quoted hybrid on-line estate agency plc, the market leading PurpleBricks, has had its business operations severely curtailed, its charges slashed and has seen its share price collapse.

Upad’s homepage simply offers a message of thanks to its former clients for their support and gives guidance on how those landlords affected by the closure should proceed. Basically the company is stating that those landlords affected (estimated by Upad to be around 450) should contact their tenants direct and make their own arrangements for the duration of their existing tenancies.

This is Upad’s announcement:

FAQs for tenants

Q: I’m a Upad tenant. What will happen to my deposit?

A: Your deposit is protected by a government approved tenancy deposit scheme – TDS www.tenancydepositscheme.com/tenants-FAQs.html. We have transferred tenants’ deposits held by us to TDS. If your tenancy has ended, please contact your landlord to agree the deductions from the deposit.

Q: I pay my rent to Upad. What will happen to that process in future?

A: Any rent already collected by us will be promptly paid over to the landlord on receipt. We hold all client money in a strictly segregated account, separate from our own funds. We will stop collecting rent by direct debit after 10 October 2019 so you should contact your landlord directly to make alternative arrangements for future rents to be paid.

Q: I am in the process of agreeing a tenancy for a new property. What should I do?

A: Please contact the landlord directly, if you have their contact details, or wait for them to get in touch with you.

FAQs for landlords

Q: I have an ongoing tenancy administered by Upad. What will happen to my tenant’s deposit?

A: The deposit is protected by a government approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDS). We have transferred all deposits held by us into their custodial scheme.

If you need further information about the deposit, you can access this via the TDS website by entering the tenancy details here https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/is-my-deposit-protected.html

At the end of the tenancy, you will negotiate any deductions directly with your tenant and then give authority to the deposit scheme administrators for the deposit to be released, subject to the rules of the scheme.

Q: Upad are collecting rent from my tenant. What will happen to that process in future?

A: Any rent already collected by us will be promptly paid over to you on receipt. We hold all client money in a strictly segregated account, separate from our own funds. We will stop collecting rent by direct debit after 10 October 2019 so you should contact your tenant directly to make alternative arrangements for future rents to be paid.

Q: I have paid for a Upad advertising package and haven’t yet found a tenant.

A: We are sorry that we have not been able to find you a tenant. If you have purchased a Upad package since 1 October 2019 then we will be refunding you in due course. If you purchased a Upad package prior to that date, we regret that we cannot offer a refund.

Q: I am in the process of agreeing a tenancy for a new property. What should I do?

A: Please contact the tenant directly to conclude negotiations.

We will add more information to this website when it becomes available. If you have a different query then please email query@upad.co.uk and we will deal with your email as soon as possible.

www.upad.co.uk

2 COMMENTS

  1. We had photos taken of our property by Upad on Monday 7th October (at 8.30am, female photographer) and they haven’t given us the photos or made contact. We have left them various emails &, in the week before they officially shut, various voicemails. We have mentioned that, even if they cannot do the editing, can they just send us the unedited photos (via Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc). They haven’t even had the courtesy to reply. We cancelled various important plans to have the house ready in time and to move everything out and clean it all & their delays have meant we have had to cancel other travel plans since we are not on schedule now.
    I will not put my correct email here to avoid spam & as we don’t want our details online but they will know who we are from the details above & could at least reply when they read this… the work has been done so why can’t they just get the photographer to send us the photos (even if unedited)?!

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