A lettings business has been suspended from Zoopla while the portal looks to see if it complies with its terms and conditions.
Rentr last week issued a press release announcing the development of its letting platform technology.
It said that it now offers advertising on both Rightmove and Zoopla at £15, after one in four landlords it contacted asked for the facility to be on the portals.
The release quoted co-founder Adam Blaxter as saying: “Every part of Rentr has been designed with landlords and tenants in mind. Rentr was built to facilitate direct communication between landlord and tenant … We wanted to build a great platform for direct and agency services to allow private, DIY landlords to access the same technologies as letting agents and to be able to access it whenever and wherever required.
“Each individual can choose the elements that suit their personal circumstances so they can choose how much they rely on letting agents or their own resources.”
Rentr launched last year as a ‘complete lettings management solution for the private landlord and tenant’.
After its latest press release, we asked Rentr whether it classified itself as a platform or a letting agent.
We were told: “Rentnr is most definitely a platform for DIY landlords to have the facilities available to agents, however they are not an agent themselves.”
Shortly afterwards, we received a new clarification, which said: “Rentr is a platform owned by Rentr Ltd which makes available to landlords and tenants a range of property services.
“Among those services there have always been professional services provided by third party agencies: for example tenant referencing, buildings and contents insurance, utility switching for landlords and tenants and so on.
“Responding to user feedback, Rentr Ltd has formed the first of many partnerships with lettings agents who want to make use of the unique platform and outreach that Rentr provides.
“Some landlords want agents to do some things for them, without having to buy an entire traditional ‘agency package’, and many agents today are seeing the advantage of providing ‘pick-and-mix’ services using up-to-date technology, like Rentr, to do so.
“As Rentr Ltd they have been careful not to overstep their remit as technology innovators and providers, and to ensure that there is a continuing and valuable place on the platform for professional letting agents to acquire new business and enjoy access to new markets.
“Rentr Agency Services, a Taraandco brand, has made commercial arrangements with Rentr Ltd to receive leads for their ‘Advertising Only’ service from Rentr.
“Taraandco is, of course, a letting and property agency of longstanding pedigree adopting innovative technology solutions to expand their market share.”
The statement went on to say that portal advertising is one of the third-party services “provided by its agency partners at Rentr Agency Services (a brand of Taraandco – a separate legal entity.
“Rentr landlords who want to advertise on Rightmove, Zoopla and Student Homes do not do so directly: Rentr Ltd is not a letting agency.
“Instead its information is passed on to Rentr Agency Services staff, who contact the landlord, vet and refine the advert, create and manage the advert as part of its ‘let only’ service.”
A spokesperson for Zoopla said: “We have strict eligibility criteria for those advertising with us and the levels of service that they must provide.
“We are in contact with this business and have removed it while we review it against our criteria.
“Any new agency looking to advertise with us needs to meet our criteria and comply with our member terms and conditions.”
A spokesperson for Rightmove said:“We have a strict vetting process before an agent can join Rightmove, to ensure that they offer an agency service in keeping with UK industry legislation and Rightmove’s terms and conditions.
“Should we find that any agent is not complying with our terms and conditions they will be removed as a customer.”