We are thrilled to announce a major update to the Tenancy Builder which is now at version 3.
This is a huge update and 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 issue, most if not all bugs found so far have been fixed as of today.
As this is a new product, please check the contents of the entry fields and data in the produced PDF more carefully than you perhaps ordinarily would.
Tenancy Builder has been improved in many ways:
- comprehensive help documentation
- digital signing deeply integrated
- multiple guarantors
- new method of payment field
- live updates whilst agreement being built
- new agreement type options added
- more stable and automatic status page updates on 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 does depend on the type of agreement 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 agreement.
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.
If you’re unsure as to what to put in a certain field, just 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.
Not only can you send a produced PDF agreement for electronic signing with just a couple of clicks, there is now a new option for in-person signing. This isn’t likely to be used in the short term during lockdown but later in time, it will allow you to take a device (such as phone or tablet) to a property and complete in-person signing there and then. Once completed, all parties are automatically emailed the signed agreement. (Note: in-person signing will need a device with internet access to be able to access the website and complete in-person signing).
Credits are used for the digital signing but for casual users, you 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 as above are provided free on first signup as a new subscriber.
A digital signing will use 100 credits irrespective of the number of parties (it’s per agreement not party).
If you use more credits than what 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 normal account/profile pages under a new tab “Credits”. (Note: you may see unusual activity from when we added the free credits. It didn’t go as smoothly as expected!)
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 in the new version.
This request is common for student lettings for example.
If you have say 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 be guaranteeing each individual tenant despite it 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. The in-person signing is also available for this option.
Method of Payment
There is a new field to insert a “payment method”. You can now for example include that you wish to be paid by standing order and provide bank details within the agreement itself.
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 live progress of the agreement PDF being built in the cloud. It will start with “in progress” and then change to “completed” when ready — no screen refresh 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 fully work with the integrated digital signing too!
In the old Builder, we had a feature called “default settings”. This would allow you to set up commonly repeated data such as landlord name, address, tenancy type, deposit scheme etc.
This system is improved upon by allowing unlimited profiles so with one click (after first setup) you can auto-fill all the information.
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.
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 all together into a single PDF. There’s 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 available which 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 (which is the most common) we will notify them or check they’re aware of 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 which is the equivalent to £9.00 plus VAT.
Any free credits you’ve been given or the ones 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.
We hope you enjoy the new Tenancy Builder and that you find it an improvement on the previous version.
If you experience any issues or have any improvement suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The previous version of Tenancy Builder will be phased out over time and support/updates will be stopped soon.