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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Online lettings agency Upad closes with immediate effect

The online lettings agency Upad has this weekend published an immediate closure announcement on its website.

It reads: “We regret to inform you that Upad is no longer accepting new business. We would like to thank all our customers for their support over the last ten years.”

Upad started its online lettings service in 2007 and is thought to have employed around 20 staff; earlier this year it introduced revised payment packages for landlords, payment via Direct Debit and an alternative deposit system. 

Most recently it charged a £449 core fee only when the tenant signed a contract.

On its website this weekend it advises customers that queries should be sent to query@upad.co.uk “and we will deal with your email as soon as possible.”

It also includes these statements for tenants and landlords:

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

  • icon

    is it a result of Tenant Fee ban ?

  • icon

    Not a casualty of the Tenant Fee Ban but a casualty of a market disrupted OPENRENT

    Agents paying full price to the major portals are just turkeys waiting for Christmas,

    Big agent chains admit they are getting discounted rates from the portals so not a level playing field

    Upad today....another small agent tomorrow...

  • Paul Barrett

    As long as we LL can list as cheap as possible on RM; Zoopla etc that is all we need.
    Openrent will suffice.
    We can use Spareroom for free
    No need for other LA.

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    Paul...I agree...however are small independent landlords part of this new brave world , a PRS made up of property companies, build to rent, housing associations, developers, attracting pension fund backing or government subsidy.

    So are independent landlords turkeys waiting for Christmas ?

    Paul Barrett

    Oh! I totally agree with your sentiments.
    For some reason small independent LL especially those who trade in their own name using mortgages are seen as the devil incarnate.
    I maintain that there is room in the PRS for all types of offer.
    But the problem now is that the various offers are not being provisioned on a fair basis.
    S24 discriminates against mortgaged sole trader LL.
    There is no advantage to any particular type of LL.
    Their relevant offers all deserve a place in the PRS to provide as much choice for tenants.
    That is a Fred and open market and as such is the best way to provide what a private tenant might choose.
    Of course from a Govt perspective the sole trader LL is lot less easier to control.
    This is something they really don't like.
    Yet for over the past 20 years it has been the private rented sector consisting mostly if small independent traders that has provisioned and effectively housed millions of tenants who would otherwise be homeless as they certainly couldn't afford to buy or they would already have done so.

    In the absence of the ability of people to buy then Govt must facilitate rental accommodation.
    But by introducing S24 they are effectively attacking about 25% of the existing market provision.
    That is simply bonkers.
    Govt should be doing exactly the opposite to engage increased rental provision by all different types of provider.
    Discriminating against different types of providers is crazy.
    Tenants have the right to have made available to them a totally transparent PRS.
    With Govt effectively trying to eradicate the mortgaged sole trader LL this does no service for desperate tenants who cannot see 25% of rental supply disappear and yet that is what is slowly happening.
    I was discussing things with a B Sortford EA who advised me that in 2018 he sold 3 rental properties on behalf of LL.
    This year he has sold 23.
    None of them were sold to FTB or former or existing tenants.
    They were all sold to upsizers or downsizers mostly from London determining to cash in on the profits of the London property market.
    I have no problems with the brave new world of different form of private sector rental provision but not at the expense of the small independent provider.
    There is space in the market for all different types but there must be a level playing field for those providers to operate within.

    However it must be accepted that for many of these private providers they do not wish to let to those who qualify for HB.
    Consequently it is only the State that will be prepared to house people that private providers choose not to do business with.
    Unfortunately for the taxpayer this means Social Housing.
    Billions need to be spent to house these HB claimants
    LL simply AREN'T interested in housing HB tenants for a wide variety of reasons.

    Social Housing with social only rents provision needs to be massively increased and RTB should be banned unless at FULL market value with the sale proceeds being invested in other social housing.
    There is room in the PRS for all different types of provider but for obvious political reasons the small some trader LL is being eradicated by unfair and penal Govt tax policies.
    Free and fair competition is good for the end user consumer.

    This applies in the PRS as any other market.
    Govt seems to have lost all commonsense in trying to eradicate a vital part of the PRS.
    If all the mortgaged sole trader LL are eradicated those LL WON'T be replaced by other LL ofif any type.
    There would be millions of homeless tenants.

     
  • Hassan Hassan

    Online and traditional agents can be combined to offer the best of both worlds… it’s not necessary an “all or nothing” approach. To thrive and survive in modern market, online agents will need to consider bridging out to be local agents (like Purple Bricks, Emoov, etc. have done) and traditional agents need to embrace the online marketplace and use tools to make them work smarter in order to be competitive while delivering the service that they’re good at. Hassan @ Gnomen

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    Www.gnomen.co.uk :)

     
  • Suzy OShea

    Good riddance to bad rubbish! I took out a package for over £400 with Upad a few years ago and they did not find me a single tenant. i found my own. But they refused to re-imburse me for their total lack of service. So this failure does not surprise me at all. Its no more than they deserve!

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