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Online lettings service 'pays outgoing tenants to find replacements'

An online lettings service says it will pay existing tenants for finding replacements and handling viewings, in a bid to reduce voids.

Mashroom, which has yet to formally launch, says it will reward outgoing tenants with up to one week's rent for liaising with prospective renters and carrying out viewings.

The idea works on the basis that landlords and tenants are signed up to Mashroom, which the company describes as a “soon-to-launch online lettings community.”


It will work like this: once the tenant says he or she is quitting, that tenant or landlord upload property details and images - which have to be approved by the landlord - to Mashroom, which then advertises the property on the major portals. 

The outgoing tenant can then make enquiries and viewings with interested parties on the Mashroom platform, which then makes an offer to the landlord.

Once the landlord has accepted an offer, Mashroom will make the necessary checks before the landlord and new tenant sign a tenancy agreement, the platform says.

After the new tenant has moved in, the outgoing tenant will receive their financial reward and the landlord can enjoy a quicker turnaround of tenancies as well as lower ongoing management costs.

Through this, Mashroom will create “an integrated community that will produce a behavioural shift in the way people find and let their properties in large cities" says its founder Stepan Dobrovolskiy (pictured above centre).

"The current system of tenancy changeovers can be expensive and slow with a lack of transparency and communication between landlords, tenants and intermediaries. By getting the outgoing tenant involved in the process, and rewarding them for doing so, we feel our lettings community provides a much-needed solution to a long-standing problem.

"It also speeds up the rental process for all parties and allows the incoming tenant to gather key information from someone who has already lived in the property," he adds.

Mashroom also claims it will provide property management services “at a fraction of the cost of traditional high street letting agency fees.”

It charges landlords a flat fixed upfront fee of £149 for advertising, offers, agreement, deposit registration, tenant referencing payment and first month’s rent collection. It additionally markets rent guarantee insurance and tenancy deposit insurance.

"The property management sector is changing rapidly as more landlords seek alternative management platforms which cost less than traditional letting agents" Dobrovolskiy explains.

"With increased legislation such as the ban on tenant fees and landlord licensing schemes, the cost of letting a property continues to rise so it's vital that shrewd landlords reduce management costs and keep void periods to a minimum."

The platform is offering tenants a referral fee of £50 if they persuade their landlord to sign up.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Interesting idea but serious questions over potential culpability. Once you incentivise tenants, who takes responsibility if they mis-represent the property in order to secure a tenancy and their fee? Whilst agents & landlords have some 'plausible deniability' about exactly what it is like to live in said property- a tenant does not have this. So, if there's a nightmare neighbour, flatmate, property issues- tenants will surely be required to disclose, if asked, any such matters or, again, would be culpable for misrepresentation no?! I also have serious concerns about how online-only agencies ensure complete regulatory compliance. In a (seemingly) constantly changing framework how does online ensure landlords know each & every piece of legislation and ensure this is met for the safety of the tenants.


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