Proptech platform launch brought forward in response to Covid-19 lockdown


A new automated lettings platform is promising to save residential landlords and lettings agents time, money and hassle by harvesting data and automating key processes around compliance, marketing, leasing and management.


PlanetRent has been developed in-house by residential property consultancy Ringley Group, which manages thousands of homes across the country and has advised major residential investors.

The company has brought forward the launch of PlanetRent to help landlords and agents cope with social distancing measures introduced by the government in response to coronavirus.

PlanetRent connects agents, landlords, tenants, contractors, accountants and any site staff by giving each their own portal to access the platform and the data they need, enabling them to transact from the comfort and safety of their home.

PlanetRent also helps protect landlords against lengthy void periods with empty properties by simplifying the renewal process to just three clicks, with the platform prompting tenants to renew as they approach the end of their tenancies.

Properties are then automatically marketed and move-out checks triggered if tenants choose to vacate. To make marketing properties easier, PlanetRent gives small landlords access to Rightmove and Zoopla as well as the ability to easily create their own website to showcase their properties.

PlanetRent also helps save landlords’ and agents’ money by reducing the need to buy multiple software packages and can integrate with existing accounting software or act as an outsourced accountant.

For build-to-rent investors and operators, PlanetRent enables front-of-house staff at BTR schemes to generate a fully compliant contract in just minutes. This empowers on-site staff such as concierges – who may come from a hospitality background rather than a property one - to draw up legally watertight tenancy agreements immediately after viewings, helping speed up the leasing process and boost occupancy rates without cutting rents.

Crucially, just one click after working through the move-in checks, PlanetRent ensures all new tenants are provided with legally required documents such as a copy of the Governments How to Rent checklist, Deposit Protection Scheme details, as well as energy performance and gas safety certificates. This helps landlords tick every legal box is ticked governance-wise and avoid compliance-related fines of up to £20,000.

A tie-up between PlanetRent and Reposit also enables landlords to offer properties deposit-free while giving them eight weeks rent over, allowing them to cater to cash-strapped renters wanting to avoid the financial burden of providing five weeks’ rent upfront.

PlanetRent empowers landlords to use multiple agents more efficiently as well, as the entire lettings process is standardised, delivering consistently designed customer experiences including lease-up, renewals, repairs, customer satisfaction ratings, and move-outs. Building owners can also access data tracking each step of this process, making it easier to monitor the performance of assets.

As social distancing measures are gradually lifted Ringley is expected a surge in rental demand as households avoid the expense and hassle of buying or selling a home and lenders tighten mortgage requirements in response to the economic uncertainty.

The company has over 20 years’ experience in residential property management and operations and has invested over £2 mln in creating a suite of technological products for the residential market.

Ringley recently announced the launch of Busy Living, a platform that can be white-labeled by BTR operators to help investors better commercialise and monetise the amenity space in their buildings. Busy Living is designed to be sector-agnostic and can also be used by student accommodation and hotel operators.

PlanetRent and Busy Living can be integrated, creating a seamless leasing and operations experience for building owners.

Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley and creator of PlanetRent, said: ‘Coronavirus has undoubtedly caused huge disruption to the housing market but as the crisis fades we will still be left with the same problem of a rental market stuck in the analogue era when we are in the digital age. Fundamentally, PlanetRent allows complicated and skilled functions to be automated, reducing risk, cutting costs and enabling staff to be far more efficient.’