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Lettings agencies described as ‘Blockbuster stores of today’

A lettings agent who sold his business to Chestertons last year has claimed the sector has come to the “end of the road.”

The bold claim was made by Imran Khan, who co-founded high-end London agent Morgan Randall, which was sold to Chestertons in August 2020.

Khan has since been working on setting up an online agent called PropertyLoop that sells itself as the first commission-free lettings platform.


He said: “I co-founded, built, and ran a well-known London estate agency chain for the past 18 years.

“Last year we sold our incredible business and decided that the future was not on the high street. Lettings agents have served their purpose and have unfortunately come to the end of the road.

“With poor service levels across the industry, unregulated, inexperienced commission-hungry salespeople, dire communication, and no customer loyalty - high street lettings agents are the Blockbuster video stores of today.”

The post claims that PropertyLoop is building a “trust-based eco-system that re-imagines the rental experience the way it should be.”

Khan says that due to “mega demand,” landlords need to join a waiting list if they want to get their property listed.

A quick glance at the Property Loop website shows it doesn’t describe its charges as commission but there is a 5% plus VAT fee “if and only if your tenancy is successfully filled with tenants who are paying rent each month.”

The fee also covers:

  • Use of the platform for ongoing management of your property

  • Tenant referencing

  • Tenancy agreement 

  • Deposit registration fee

  • Rent collection

  • Property marketing on top portals and social channels

  • Rent guarantee and legal expenses cover up to £100,000

  • Landlord resources

You can read the full LinkedIn post here

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  • Angus Shield

    I hope this is not a 'Gerald Ratner moment' for Mr Khan having taken his bag of gold from the sale of his business and now prophesising doom to its new owners.

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    Sounds like he is shorting the business. I dont see how he can substantiating his business model, looks good but too many rogue tenants will destroy his cashflow.

  • Matthew Fine

    Why are people still quoting +VAT with their fees!! It shows a lack of awareness of current legislation!

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    • D G
    • 13 September 2021 10:40 AM

    Please can you pass me a pillow, I'm feeling rather sleepy

  • David Baldwin


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    I think Letting Agents have a future, but the cowboys have got to be driven out of the business. As a landlord I manage all my properties myself but use a really good local agency to rent all my properties. The management side can be a pain for some landlords I know, but - apart from 2 tenants in last 5 years - I have had no problems with rent collection, maintenance (have a good local tradesman) and can handle all the legal requirements with a part-time employee handling inspections, letters, etc. and it still works out more cost effective than paying 12% rates. The problem for agencies started with the end of tenant fees so the only source of income became the landlords and I'm not paying stupid costs for simple maintenance jobs. A friend who has a portfolio of over 200 properties runs his own small letting agency with staff and handles only his properties.
    Simply put, while I think this article is wrong and that Agencies will remain - I think they will consolidate into larger agencies and the fly by night types will - I hope anyway - be a thing of the past.


    The larger agencies don’t offer the type of service an independent offers. Many have a high turnover of staff. The fee ban doesn’t have anything to do with management fees. Most agents charge 10% on works. It’s affected the admin cash flow of agencies. The culprit behind the huge hike in agency fees charged to tenants was when the large chains muscled into lettings business back in the last recession when houses were not selling. Charging tenants one weeks rent as an admin fee and additional fees for tenancies, referencing etc is what brought about the ban. Most independents were charging reasonable flat fees per applicant.
    There are fly by nights in every business. The sooner regulation comes in the better.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    My, what an original and refreshing approach that will no doubt be hugely successful and highly profitable!

  • Roger  Mellie

    Formally known as Morgan Scandal, Imran Khan has had more comebacks than Rocky.


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