In what some see as a sign of the growing importance of the lettings sector over sales, Rightmove has acquired tenant referencing company Van Mildert.
The portal says the aim of the acquisition - at a cost of £16m - is to offer products and services to letting agents to help them save time on admin tasks and increase service levels for landlords and tenants, especially in an era when fees are under pressure.
Head of Lettings Innovation at Rightmove, Rob Symes, explains: “This acquisition will augment our Rightmove Passport, which can help support agents when they’re pre-qualifying applicants and handling leads, and could also help tenants save time when applying for properties.
“Agents will be able to use the Rightmove Passport to help identify the most suitable tenants, and if they choose to use Van Mildert for referencing our aim is to help them save more time by integrating the Passport into the referencing flow.”
Van Mildert founder Christian Balshen adds: “The Rightmove Passport is something which can truly change the market for the better, improving the lettings experience for letting agents, tenants and landlords and it is fantastic for Van Mildert to have the opportunity to contribute to this whilst also ensuring that our specialist products give letting agents the tools they need to thrive in their market.”
The transaction is subject to routine Financial Conduct Authority change of control regulatory approval and is anticipated to complete by the end of October.
Over the past few months Rightmove says it’s enhanced its Rightmove Passport.
It includes an Equifax credit check, an anti-money laundering check, identity validation and a check on the fraud protection database.