Monkey vs Owl, an online lettings company based in Derby specialising in students and young professionals has launched a national tenant-find service for landlords starting at £15, depending on portfolio size.

The company is also rolling out a national property management service from £125 per room or a 10% of the rent for whole homes, depending on either the needs of the landlord or whether it’s an HMO or not. See more about its charging structure below.

Monkey vs Owl or MOVO opened for business in Derby three years ago and then launched a second branch in Loughborough in July.

But the company has now widened the capabilities of its tech platform enough to go national, offering a hybrid that’s part property portal, part letting agent.

Direct communications

The platform claims to be ideal for landlords of all sizes and experience and enables landlords and tenants to communicate directly with each other via its website, rather than being kept apart until the last moment, as is traditionally the case.

All landlords have direct access to prospective tenants who can book and manage viewings online via Monkey vs Owl’s booking system, or alternatively contact the landlord direct.

The platform tells LandlordZONE that it will target tenants online via extensive marketing campaigns across social media, Google and also paid advertising campaigns with strategic partners both on and offline.

“There are no plans at this stage to use Rightmove, as our long-term goal at Monkey vs Owl is to provide a more affordable alternative solution for landlords and agencies to let their properties,” says sales director James Lomas (pictured right, above)

“We also provide managed services if required such as tenant viewings, insurance, tenancy agreements and property maintenance which we coordinate through a national network of agents based in each town and city and contractors who we have vetted and trust to carry out any work required.”

How does it work?

“With the Monkey vs Owl platform, each fee listed is per published property per week; once the property is live on the Monkey vs Owl website, the billing cycle will start for that property,” says co-founder Chris Monk (picture left, top).

“Landlords can then mark properties as “Let” in their Property Management Dashboard, which will unpublish the property from the Monkey vs Owl website, but save all the property details ready to re-list as and when required.

“Once a property has been unpublished, the Landlord will no longer be charged the weekly fee. This is a departure from the one time fee model that many online property marketing platforms currently use as we wanted to give more flexibility to the landlords/agencies to manage their portfolios as they please, whilst giving a fairer reflection of the benefits they have received from using our platform.”

A poll of landlords in September found that a third preferred to use online letting agents.

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