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Modern rent collection systems could net agents thousands - claim

Agents who review and modernise their rent collection procedures could claim back thousands of pounds in rent, an automated payments platform claims.

PayProp says that manual reconciliation and reactive, ad hoc arrears management could be costing agents and landlords significant amounts in unpaid rent each year.

It cites research by the Residential Landlords Association which suggests that 28 per cent of landlords have experienced rent arrears in the last 12 months, and a separate study by Your Move found that around nine per cent of tenants across England and Wales were in arrears.

PayProp says the traditional process of reconciling payments on paper with a highlighter - still used by many agents - is labour intensive and open to human error; automating this would, by contrast, allow proactive reminders to go to tenants reminding them that their rent is due and informing them of any missed payment.

"A more modern approach to arrears management is likely to impress landlord clients" says Neil Cobbold, chief operating officer of PayProp in the UK.

"If you're able to easily show landlords the live status of their portfolio - including key information like which tenants are in arrears right now - then this will definitely set you apart from other agents in your patch."

Cobbold also claims that the labour-intensive manual approach to reconciliation and chasing payments is simply unsustainable.

"Sending letters to chase unpaid rent is an outdated and largely ineffective process. It's easy for tenants to ignore letters and it's also a waste of paper - particularly if this approach garners few results" he adds.

By contrast, he believes SMS reminders are a much more efficient and successful way of chasing rent arrears, with some communications experts claiming over 90 per cent of text messages are read within three minutes of receipt.

PayProp's own figures show that 61 per cent of customers in arrears settle or arrange payment terms within 48 hours of being reminded.

"It’s those firms who embrace the most innovative and effective PropTech solutions that will prosper. We passionately believe an automated rental payments process can save agents money and time while also helping to generate more revenue and grow their lettings book."

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