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Online chief aged 24 blasts “obsolete” agents “writing their own rules”

The 24 year old head of an online lettings platform called Bunk says it’s up to letting agents to show they “still hold some value in a world where technology and innovation will undoubtedly render them obsolete.”

Tom Woollard, co-founder and chief executive of Bristol-based Bunk, has issued a statement packed with accusations about traditional agents.

He says: “For far too long letting agents have essentially been writing their own rules when it comes to the fees they charge tenants for all manner of things, and as a result, it has left a very sour taste in the mouths of many in the rental sector.


“The ban on tenant fees is undoubtedly a step in the right direction as we now have a clear piece of legislation that letting agents, landlords and tenants can all adhere to with a good level of accountability when this isn’t the case.

“Until this point, the majority of letting agents have essentially been taking extra money above and beyond any justified fees for no additional work and so the thought that they might try and recoup this ‘lost’ revenue through rental hikes or any other means is quite laughable.

“Only time will tell if this does happen and there will no doubt be a knee-jerk reaction of some sort by the industry.

“Hopefully it will act as a catalyst for the sector to stand up and show it can provide a good service for a reasonable fee, and that letting agents still hold some value in a world where technology and innovation will undoubtedly render them obsolete.”

Founded by three university graduates and based in Bristol the platform claims it will “help landlords minimise costs, which they can no longer recoup through fees, whilst making the whole process simple and affordable for renters.”

“Unlike most agents, we don’t need to increase landlord fees. As other agents go down that route, we are passing real savings onto our customers across the UK” pledges Woollard.

Poll: Will High Street letting agents ever be obsolete?


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    Glad to hear they've found a fairy who can magic away all the increasing amount of legislation that good letting agents have to deal with to ensure tenancies and properties remain compliant. Can I have one too please?

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    ‘has left a very sour taste in the mouths of many in the renal sector‘

    Could simply be a symptom of kidney disease?

  • SCN Lettings

    And how many irate tenants and landlords has he dealt with with all his 24 years wordly experience? Will the"Bunk" tech turn up at 4am to deal with a water leak or a fire? Or email a spare key through when tenant has lost it? No? Thought not.

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    • 12 June 2019 08:30 AM

    The bright young things of Bunk are like most bright young things........................................utterly clueless about the realities and practicalities of life.
    I don't believe well run High St LA have anything to concern themselves with.
    Such LA will just carry on delivering the service to LL they always have.
    Only now they have lost a substantial chunk of their income with the TFA introduction.
    Gonna be some tough old times for LA.
    Unlikely that many LL will be prepared to pay what tenants used to pay.

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    LA need to understand one thing, us Professional LLs know what we are doing We know how to find a tenant We know how to sign up a tenant We know the process. We have a LA agent saying LLs dont know the legistration and dont know the process and we the LA will just charge the LL. Rubbish and dangerous play and with Flash fools like this their offices will cease to be.

  • Andrew Fenton

    Morning Tom. In fairness, the article has some accurate comments about the industry. Indeed, some letting agents (probably not the majority though - where's the evidence?) do charge too much. These agents will be hit hardest by the tenant fee ban (as long as it is policed of course, as usual). However, as Paul Barrett says above, the proper bona fide agents will carry on doing what they've always done and continue to deliver fabulous service and keep up to date with regulative change (what next I wonder?). We've had Rent Smart Wales, EPC legislation, the tenant fee ban in September (Wales), yet the industry still continues to grow. There will always be a demand for rental property and naturally there will always be a supply. It's just about weighing the two up at any given time, and of course working cuter and more efficiently. Good luck all.

  • Paul Singleton

    Just looked on Bunk website. 4 properties available, dreadful photos, no floorplans, adverts stating ‘NO DSS’. Wow! I’m sure this company will close down all the honest, decent, hard working letting agents in their area! Are they friends of the Bruce brothers by any chance because it reeks of the same amateur ‘we do everything that traditional ...........etc........except they don’t! Also 3 business partners, are they all wanting paying each month or is this business that they ‘play at’ when they’ve got a few minutes?


    Try clicking on the properties...only one of the four works!

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    'Good' service, but only 'reasonable' fee.

    Now reverse that to 'reasonable service for a good fee' and it sounds more sinister...that's because the two words are not matched or balanced. Why not an exceptional service for a handsome fee?

    (Because everyone wants something for nothing, that's why)

    This is just a case of young person says something controversial/inflammatory for free publicity.

    Readers: Follow this thread and I will mark in my calendar to return to this in a year and we can see if Bunk is still around.

  • Don Holmes

    I think it was line in a Johnny Cash song (The kids at Bunk won't have heard of him)
    I've seen them come and go and I've seen them die and long ago I stopped asking why!

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    I'm a bit curious as to why a 24 year old, with little to no experience of the market, who owns an obscure lettings website which only hosts 4 properties, has been given airtime? Surely we can't be expected to take him seriously? Maybe spend a bit of time focusing on your own business instead of commenting on the whole market, you clearly don't know enough yet.


    The only property of the four that loads on his broken site is the flat on Paxton Drive, owned by an Angela & Adrian Shippey (EPC gives the full address including door number; Land Registry using those details yields the owners details) who, on Facebook at least, lists himself as an 'associate director' at Savills...strange that he wouldn't use his own firm, but also that he considers this four-property, poor listing upstart as worth a punt!

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    Has the sale of white socks increased recently?

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    I couldn't even get their app to open up property to rent. Gave up in the end.

  • jeremy clarke

    A day later and the Web page is still trying to open! I can see how landlords and tenants will be impressed by this particular disruptor!
    Why are they getting page space on here?


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