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Tenancy referencing business shaken up by new competitor

Posted by on August 25, 2011

The tenancy referencing and rent guarantee business is facing a new challenge – from a company founded by the man who built up his main rivals.

Andy Halstead was chief executive officer of Erinaceous Insurance Services, which owned Homelet. During his tenure, he went on to acquire Letsure.

After the collapse of the main Erinaceous business, which took with it its insurance subsidiary, Halstead went on to acquire MARAS and set up Letting Agent Solutions for Towergate.

In February this year, he launched his own business, Let Alliance, and this week he said it had achieved a major milestone, having signed up over 100 letting agency firms.

He said: “It is our ambition to work with over 2,000 agents. Let Alliance is challenging head-on businesses like Homelet, Letsure and MARAS, all businesses that I have developed, delivering to the letting agent market place nil-excess rent guarantee, referencing and insurance products at prices that cannot be matched.”

He said: “I spent 18 months developing the ideas for Let Alliance, and wanted to do something that was genuinely innovative and different in a market where everyone does the same thing.

We offer day one rent guarantee protection, with no excesses payable, and we can sell the product to the agent for £35, which includes a full assessment of the tenant. A similar product from our competitors would cost around £100. And of course, the agent can sell on the rent guarantee to the landlords – it would normally mean that the agent can add a further 1% or 2% to their management charges.”

The firm’s other insurance products, including landlords’ emergency cover and tenants’ contents cover, also have no excesses payable.

One of the latest lettings firms to sign up to Let Alliance is Curtis & Bains in Manchester.

Partner Christa McBain said: “We worked with the same referencing and rent guarantee partner for a number of years and I never made it a priority to shop around. Let Alliance made an approach and offered our business a fresh and innovative proposition.

Through our new relationship with Let Alliance we will improve the protection that we offer to our landlords and also improve our bottom line.”

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