Tenancy Builder Version 3 Now Live
We are thrilled to announce a significant update to the Tenancy Builder, which is now at version 3.
View a video introduction on YouTube here.
This huge update is effectively a brand-new version built from scratch.
When creating a new agreement, we’ve tried to keep the general layout and fields the same as before, so it’s familiar to you from the old version. If you were an early adopter and had some issues, most, if not all, bugs found so far have been fixed as of today.
Tenancy Builder has been improved in many ways:
- comprehensive help documentation
- digital signing is deeply integrated
- multiple guarantors
- a new method of payment field
- live updates whilst agreement is being built
- new agreement type options added
- more stable and automatic status page updates on a service error
- new referencing
The new version of the Builder is built on a separate server away from the main landlordsguild.com website. It’s programmed in the most modern code specifically for the functionality we are trying to achieve.
We estimate entering data is around 30% faster (especially when using profiles which is the new name for default settings from the old Builder). Building the agreement and returning a completed PDF agreement ready for download is about 10% faster, although this depends on the agreement type and attachments you’ve uploaded.
All primary functions (edit, download, duplicate, delete, digital signing etc.) are available from a single “actions button” next to each agreement in the tenancies list, making it much easier to find the function you need for any particular contract.
As you start typing in any address field, we connect to a Royal Mail database of addresses and present a live list as you type for quick selection. Any selected address can nonetheless be edited in each field if needed.
Other new little touches like buttons for adding 6 or 12 months into the fixed term to date are added.
Comprehensive Help Documentation
We have produced some very comprehensive documentation to help you get started and use all the features of the Tenancy Builder. The new documentation includes a quick start guide.
In addition to all features such as creating new, editing and electronic signing, there is guidance for every field available for entry when creating or editing an agreement.
If you’re unsure what to put in a particular field, consult the help documentation and find the answer. There is a dedicated “Help” link in the sidebar of the new Tenancy Builder to take you straight there.
Integrated Digital Signing
After trying digital signing on the previous Builder, the new version was developed with digital signing front and centre of all our end goals. You send a produced agreement for electronic signing with a couple of clicks.
Credits are used for digital signing, but casual users; should never have to pay any money to use digital signing.
We have provided some free credits to users on most subscriptions to get you started, and at each renewal, you will get free credits as below:
- £29 per quarter = 300 free credits per signup/renewal
- £90 each year = 1200 free credits per signup/renewal
- £129 each year = 1500 free credits per signup/renewal
The same credits above are provided free on the first signup as a new subscriber.
A digital signing will use 100 credits irrespective of the number of parties (per agreement, not party).
If you use more credits than you receive free each renewal, you can purchase more anytime.
Credits cost £1.00 + VAT per 100 (minimum 500 credits purchase and discounts for larger purchases).
Credit activity can be tracked from the regular account/profile pages under a new tab, “Credits”.
See the help documentation for more information about credits
One of the most popular requests was to have multiple guarantors for a single joint and several tenancy with multiple tenants.
This was going to be very difficult in the old Builder but is now integrated into the new version.
This request is common for student lettings, for example. If you have four tenants, you can now select “multiple guarantors”, and each tenant name will be displayed, and fields to enter the relevant guarantor details for each tenant. The guarantor will guarantee each tenant despite being a single tenancy.
Having a single guarantor for the entire tenancy is always best, but this was a popular request, so now implemented.
If sent for digital signing, it will go to all guarantors first, then to all tenants and finally to the landlord for signature—all fully automated.
See the help documentation for more information about guarantors.
Method of Payment
There is a new field to insert a “payment method”. You can now include that you wish to be paid by standing order and provide bank details within the agreement.
Once you’ve entered all the data and hit submit to build, you will be directed back to the list of agreements. Here, you will see the live progress of the agreement PDF created in the cloud. It will start with “in progress” and then change to “completed” when ready — no screen refresh is needed. Click the completed notification, and the agreement will download (or use the actions button to download).
New Agreements Added
The garage and non-domestic room agreements (for personal use) have been added to the Builder, with our car parking agreement to be added soon. In addition, to be able to download, they will also fully work with the integrated digital signing!
In the old Builder, we had a “default settings” feature. This would allow you to set up commonly repeated data such as landlord name, address, tenancy type, deposit scheme etc.
This system is improved by allowing unlimited profiles so that you can auto-fill all the information with one click (after the first setup). You could now even use the tenancy address field and have a profile for every letting unit if you wish.
Profiles can be duplicated, meaning adding multiple is super quick once one has been added.
See the help documentation on using profiles.
More Stable and Automatic Status Page Updates
Tenancy Builder uses various cloud services to build an agreement in the cloud each time. We use a service for converting logos, merging data into a PDF, compiling document attachments and then putting it together into a single PDF.
There are also lots of small in-between services, all working hard too. Unfortunately, as we rely heavily on these 3rd party providers, they can experience outages from time to time.
We can’t prevent this altogether, but we have learnt from the old Builder which services are more reliable than others and ways to avoid problems or quickly notify if there’s an outage.
For example, in the old Builder, the whole Build could stop if a logo you added failed to convert or the system was down. The new Builder now detects an outage or problem and will use our default logo instead. Although not ideal, it means we can get the agreement to you without it being stopped by something as simple as your logo.
In addition, we now have a dedicated status page that will automatically update should there be a service error with one of our providers. We also update this page if we’re aware of any issues and update when fixed. An overview of the status is shown on the dashboard of the new Tenancy Builder.
There are various “success events” we perform during the day, and if any report an error, we get notified and update the status page. We will actively investigate any error, and if it’s a third-party provider (the most common), we will inform them or check if they’re aware of the problems.
All of this means we are fully transparent, and you can check anytime if there are any reported issues. You can also see any action taken and if fixed.
In addition to the Tenancy Builder, we have moved the tenancy assessment report to the same platform. We have improved the speed at which a report is produced, and like an agreement, you can see live as the report is being obtained from the Credit Bureau.
You can download the report directly from the referencing list within the same area as the Builder. A reference report uses 900 credits equivalent to £9.00 plus VAT.
Any free credits you’ve been given or those given free at each renewal can be used against a report.
For those on an annual subscription, you effectively get a free report every year included in your subscription with 3 x digital signing to spare.
See the help documentation for more information about using the referencing.
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View Related Handbook Page
Landlords should be aware of the benefits of written tenancy agreements and the procedures necessary for obtaining such an agreement. Although a landlord can create many short-term tenancies (three years or less) without a written agreement, it is generally not advisable for landlords to allow occupation without first having secured a signed formal tenancy agreement.