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Kristjan Byfield
Kristjan Byfield
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About Me

my expertise in the industry

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Kristjan Byfield

From: Kristjan Byfield 18 October 2017 18:39 PM

Kristjan Byfield
The market is evolving and alternatives are great. My 'twitter spat' with Reposit is no secret however, since then, my position has softened for sure. That said, I still have a few major concerns here: 1. Do Tenants fully understand that they pay a non-refundable FEE for the product which (it is my understanding) will be more than the average deduction made from 'non-disputed' deductions? 2. Do Tenants understand that, despite paying this fee, that the products either place them as financially accountable for the first 6 weeks rent (value) of any claim OR will then mean that a future product will be significantly higher having lost their 'no claims' status? 3. If a Tenant is (or thinks they are) covered for X damage having paid Y- will they treat the property with less care as it isn't 'their' money on the line? 4. How expedient will the claims process be and how fair will the payouts be to Landlords? 5. Whether they like it or not, these are all insurance products and, as such, should surely fall under all relevant FCA regulations. Whilst Dlighted & Insure Street acknowledge this and have FCA complaint statements on their site- Reposit states nothing of the sort & FlatFair claims it is not insurance. 6. In what is a crowded marketplace for a test product the question also remains that, when one of these fail (and make no mistake, at least one of them will) what protections will remain in place- especially for the comanies not already FCA compliant? As both a letting agent of 15 years and a ondon Tenant of 20 years I still believe the (current) regulated Deposit system to be the fairest and most comprehensive process in place for all concerned. I must, however, also admit some 'self interest' in this statement as I am shortly about to launch The Depositary for letting agents in partnership with TDS. I'd be really keen to hear other people's thoughts (especially poeople from the products listed and from large scale lettings agencies) on the key points I've raised.

From: Kristjan Byfield 29 June 2017 16:13 PM

Kristjan Byfield

From: Kristjan Byfield 29 November 2016 11:53 AM

Kristjan Byfield
Surely off the back of this we have to look at becoming a fully regulated and licensed profession. As the government increase SDLT, cut tax efficiencies and now (likely) increase agents costs- Landlpords will still need to make ends meet and, as such, many will have no option but to opt for low fee, low service operators once again plunging our industry back 20 years. The quote of Baroness Olly is actually worryingly worded as she appears, in the phrasing of her comments, to understand this yet seems equally unconcerned by this fact. Interestingly, councils and governments want ever increasing standards yet ever reduced costs. We recently started composing a pitch for Brent council on Letting & Managing a new portfolio for them- until we realised they wanted a full service offering yet their cap was around £500 pa per property. No margins at all and I fear what organisation will secure the job and what service they will be able to deliver under such financial pressures- deepened further by this ruling. High value areas, such as London, will march on largely unaffected (although there will be some agents saying good bye to vast revenue streams) however I fear for the regional agencies who often earn £400-700 to let and even manage a property. With no surplus fees, how will they survive? Will their Landlord be able to supplement a 30%+ rise in fees to accomodate this? Again, another legislative impact on our industry with no comprehensive consultation or apparent understanding of the inner working of our industry and the challenges faced in different areas. Where on Earth have ARLA & RICS been in all of this? Isnt this the very pivotal industry-related matters they should be championing us in?

From: Kristjan Byfield 23 November 2016 11:55 AM

Kristjan Byfield

From: Kristjan Byfield 24 August 2016 10:53 AM

Kristjan Byfield
Perhaps easyProperty should focus a little more on their own operations then attacking others. Latest filed accounts recorded income of just £144k on operating costs of £5.735m (sorry what now?). Why aren't any media outlets reporting/discussing this? Are the investors (especially those duped in to the crowd funding round offering tny equity at exobitant rates) aware of the appalling performance to date? It is all well and good to 'disrupt' an industry but there are few who have proven the financial viability of the online model yet- especially when it comes to Lettings where fees are so much smaller yet so much more legislation and regulation falls upon the agent. I see nothing on their site about Tenant fees (maybe they dont charge any- but surely they would shout this from the roof tops). What is more I see no Redress Scheme on their site- a legal requirement for all! Also, no affiliations with the likes of NALS, ARLA, RICS etc, no sign of SAFEAgent, no mention if CMP nothing. Is this really the way we want our industry going- effectively championing cheap offerings with cheap service leaving Tenants at risk and Landlords accountable? These are the points that need to be discussed and highlighted. I fully support the role of online agents wthin the market place, however, tearing each other down is nonsense. What is essential however is professionalism and regulatory compliance across all sectors. How many Tenants and Landlords are at risk using low cost options that are seemingly in breach of multiple regulations currently in place? Absolutely shocking! For the legitimate online offerings out there, companies like this should be of huge concern as they could cause irreparable damage to the perception and viability of the sector. The more research undertaken (and easy research done in minutes) raises even more questions abut the viable leadership of this enterprise.

From: Kristjan Byfield 01 July 2016 12:01 PM

Kristjan Byfield

From: Kristjan Byfield 08 March 2016 11:11 AM

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