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'Many independent letting agencies will shut' warns franchise firm chief

Belvoir says a surge in business for its Assisted Acquisition Programme is because of the challenging market and upcoming fees ban - and it warns that many independent agents may be set to close over the coming two years. 

“So far this year Belvoir has already completed on 21 acquisitions, which have added 3,585 managed properties to the national portfolio. In addition we have a pipeline of six acquisitions that are already with lawyers plus a further 15 opportunities that are currently under consideration” says Belvoir chief executive Dorian Gonsalves.

This represents an increase of 255 per cent in acquisition turnover from £2.1m in the year to September 2017 up to £5.3m to September 2018 “and we expect this figure to grow considerably by the end of the year” he adds.


Belvoir’s acquisitions to date have ranged in value from £25,000 to £1.5m.

Gonsalves says his company’s AAP is unique because it is highly structured and operates entirely in-house. 

“Our decision to not use outsourcing ensures that each acquisition remains totally within our control, and the process is robust enough to mitigate risks. We go to great lengths to prove the viability of each acquisition, and negotiate on the franchisee’s behalf with the aim of enabling our franchisees to be debt-free within five years” he adds. 

And he warns that the market will continue to consolidate for at least a further two years “and this will result in the closure of many independent agencies.”

  • Angus Shield

    I am an independent, who does not rely on Tenant Fees as essential budgeted income, and are growing monthly. We have no intention of shutting.

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    We are an independent who, like Angus, does not rely on Tenant Fees as essential budgeted income and has no intention of shutting. If Tenants fees are an essential part of any Letting Agencies income then, along with the big boys who charge ridiculous fees to Tenants is why we are facing the ban in the first place. Good luck to all the independents and if you are struggling perhaps pool resources with local independents rather than selling out!

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    Ditto, we are not reliant on tenant fees to make our business viable. Bring on the ban and a more level playing field. Only problem is - do I want another agent’s landlord that only wanted to pay a couple of per cent commission?

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    We are a small independent and scrapped tenant fees at the end of last year. We never actually charged that much anyway. It's been a positive move especially when a property is on with more than one agent, and we have also found tenants specifically waiting for us to find them a property. We have grown stronger as a result. Obviously that competitive edge will be removed when tenant fees become the norm but we don't expect it to be a problem at all.

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    Good hope the ,way over charging ripping off agents, do fold as someone had said its because these cowboy agents who charge ,circa £200 a tenant fee plus over £5 for a Check Out, plus over a £1 for a guarantor, plus over £200 from the landlord, plus £150 to up the water pressure on a boiler, plus over 3% to manage and don't and dont inspect and don't deal with tenants issue, and don't pay back deposits within 10 days of tenant moving out, got one of these in Portsmouth.


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