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PR activity report for May 2013


Press releases/feature articles written and distributed this month

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6th May - MyTAG Key Protector Service launches for Letting Agents

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17th May - FCC Paragon approached Government to tackle immigration issues

Upcoming releases -

FCC & British Gas

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AuctionLets

. Upcoming Coverage -

PropertyDrum Negotiator

Following the release on tackling immigration issues, Richard Ford, Home Affairs Correspondent for The Times, contacted THIW on bank holiday Monday asking them to call back. We did so but have yet to get in contact with him. We have also emailed. We will keep FCC Paragon up to date on any further correspondence as we hoped he might be looking to use the story.


Press cuttings Date 7th May

Publication Letting Agent Today

Title New lost keys service launches for letting agents

AVE Unique Visitors Per Month: 2,790

8th May

Property Reporter

Circulation: NA AVE: NA

8th May

Martin & Co

MyTAG ‘Key Protector’ Service launches for Letting Agents Lost Key Service Launched

9th May

Herald Express

15th May

JungleDrum

17th May

Property Reporter

21st May

Landlord Today

21st May

Letting Agent Today

22nd May

Jungle Drums

24th May

The News (Portsmouth)

Letting Agents Hold Key to New Service I've lost my keys... help? FCC Paragon approached Government to tackle immigration issues Rental services firm offered ministers free immigrant check service Rental services firm offered ministers free immigrant check service Landlord checks on immigrants slammed Landlords facing fines for 'risky' checks on tenants

Circulation: NA AVE: NA Circulation: 27331 AVE: £733.40 Circulation: 30000 AVE: £750.00 Circulation: NA AVE: NA Unique Visitors Per Month: 2,790 Unique Visitors Per Month: 2,790 Circulation: 30000 AVE: £750.00 Circulation: 51647 AVE: £1621.62

Total Cuttings 10 Total AVE £3,855.02

Total of cuttings: 10 Total AVE (advertising equivalent) £3,855.02 Please note that we cannot provide the advertising equivalent for online coverage, or circulations figures. This is just for print coverage.


New lost keys service launches for letting agents Tuesday 7th May 2013

A new key service has been launched for letting agents. Called MyTAG, it is key protection service which is designed to arm letting agents with a speedy and efficient service to offer landlords an easy way to reunite lost keys with their owners. So far, piloting of the scheme has resulted in 81% of tagged keys being recovered. Each MyTAG Key Protector has a unique identity number, enabling customers to securely tag and register their keys without having any personal contact information on display. Anyone finding lost keys which have a registered Key Protector attached to them can either go to the MyTAG website to report the find or call the 24/7 UK-based call centre number who will immediately identify and establish contact with the owner. The keys are then reunited with the owner and as a gesture of goodwill MyTAG provide the finder with a ‘thank you’ gift pack as a reward. The products can be offered by agents free of charge, as part of their package, or offered for a small fee in order to generate an additional income opportunity. They can be individually branded as an agent’s own ‘Lost and Found Key Recovery Service’, and can also offer an online data capture solution. Mike George, managing director of MyTAG, said: “The response from market research we have carried out among lettings agents so far has been very positive. “The concept is designed to be simple, easy and more cost-effective than having to change locks every time tenants lose keys, which is an attractive proposition for landlords. “At the same time, it provides three benefits to agents: income opportunity, data capture and great branding.”


MyTAG ‘Key Protector’ Service launches for Letting Agents Wednesday, May 08, 2013 Published by WARREN LEWIS Business

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Launched on 1st May, MyTAG Limited provides a new key protector service which is designed to arm letting agents with a speedy and efficient service to offer landlords an easy way to reunite lost keys with their owners So far, piloting of the scheme has resulted in 81% of tagged keys being recovered. Each MyTAG Key Protector has a unique identity number enabling customers to securely tag and register their keys without having any personal contact information on display. Anyone finding lost keys which have a registered Key Protector attached to them can either go to the MyTAG website to report the find or call the 24/7 UK-based call centre number who will immediately identify and establish contact with the owner. The keys are then reunited with the owner and as a gesture of goodwill MyTAG provide the finder with a ‘Thank You’ gift pack as a reward. From an agent’s point of view the benefits are numerous. MyTAG Key Protectors are a low cost, high retail value service which agents can either provide free of charge, as part of their service package to corporate/VIP clients or, offered for a small fee in order to generate an additional income opportunity. They can be individually branded as an agent’s own ‘Lost and Found Key Recovery Service’, and can also offer an online data capture solution. Mike George, Managing Director of MyTAG, says “The response from market research we have carried out amongst lettings agents so far has been very positive. The concept is designed to be simple, easy and more cost effective than having to change locks every time tenants lose keys, which is an attractive proposition for landlords. At the same time, it provides three key benefits to agents; income opportunity, data capture and great branding.”


08th May 2013

Lost Key Service Launched A new key protection service has been launched called MyTAG which aims to provide letting agents with an easy and efficient service to reunite owners and their keys! The pilot scheme has so far resulted in over 80% of keys been found and given back to their owners. Each MyTAG Key Protector has a unique identity number which means no personal information is on show on the keys. A 24/7 UK based call centre and the MyTAG website provides a point for people to report the keys and in turn MyTAG will then make contact with the owner. Whats in it for the finder? They can expect a ‘thank you’ gift pack from the team at MyTAG. The idea is that the product can be offered free of charge by an agent as an incentive, or for a small fee as an income generation tool. The added benefit to agents is that each MyTAG can be individually branded. Managing Director of MyTAG, Mike George, Gave the following “The response from market research we have carried out among lettings agents so far has been very positive. “The concept is designed to be simple, easy and more cost-effective than having to change locks every time tenants lose keys, which is an attractive proposition for landlords. “At the same time, it provides three benefits to agents: income opportunity, data capture and great branding.”

William Taylor of Martin & Co (Huddersfield Letting Agent / Huddersfield Estate Agent) said “The concept is great and is already in practice on a more basic level within our Huddersfield Letting Agency. Both from a security point of view and a service to tenants, this is important”


UNGLEdrum News I've lost my keys... help? Forgetful letting agents and landlords need never lose keys again. If you're locked out, or you lose your key, do not lose your temper and force the doors. Instead, it may be wise to sign up to a key protector service, such as MyTAG Limited’s new scheme. MyTAG provides a service which is designed to arm letting agents with a speedy and efficient service to offer landlords an easy way to reunite lost keys with their owners. So far, piloting of the scheme has resulted in 81 per cent of tagged keys being recovered. Each MyTAG Key Protector has a unique identity number enabling customers to securely tag and register their keys without having any personal contact information on display. Anyone finding lost keys which have a registered Key Protector attached to them can either go to the MyTAG website to report the find or call the 24/7 UK-based call centre number who will immediately identify and establish contact with the owner. The keys are then reunited with the owner and as a gesture of goodwill MyTAG provide the finder with a ‘Thank You’ gift pack as a reward. From an agent’s point of view there are various benefits, according to Mike George, Managing Director of MyTAG. He points out that MyTAG Key Protectors are a low cost, high retail value service which agents can either provide free of charge, as part of their service package to corporate/VIP clients or, offered for a small fee in order to generate an additional income opportunity. They can be individually branded as an agent’s own ‘Lost and Found Key Recovery Service’, and can also offer an online data capture solution. Mr George said: “The response from market research we have carried out amongst lettings agents so far has been very positive. The concept is designed to be simple, easy and more cost effective than


having to change locks every time tenants lose keys, which is an attractive proposition for landlords. At the same time, it provides three key benefits to agents; income opportunity, data capture and great branding.� For more info call 02392 315149. Key Protection Cover Sales, letting and management agents, as well as homeowners, can of course opt to take out a Key Protection policy which provides the owner or agent with cover in the event that any keys attached to a provided fob are either lost, stolen or broken. Most service providers will usually provide annual cover for locksmith charges, with amounts varying, as well as 24 hour, 365 days a year Emergency Helpline.


FCC Paragon approached Government to tackle immigration issues Friday, May 17, 2013 Published by WARREN LEWIS Insurance & Legal

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FCC Paragon, which provides numerous services to the lettings industry, has voiced its anger over plans that landlords will now be responsible for checking the immigration status of any potential tenant. This comes after it emerged their own experience in this sensitive field led them to offer the Government a credible free solution over three years ago, which was rejected. As part of their tenant referencing business, FCC has come across numerous fraudulent applications being made. This has also been apparent when assisting Landlords via their Rent Recovery Department, where tenancies have been granted and which have, in many cases led to, sub letting, huge rent arrears, substantive dilapidations. They say on the occasions where foreign nationals are involved it has been nigh on impossible to have any recourse for return of monies outstanding etc as often they have absconded before being able to take any action. In 2010, after identifying growing concerns surrounding the verification of foreign nationals, Janie Gaston, Operations Director at FCC Paragon, wrote to the deputy prime minister (Rt Hon Nick Clegg) offering a service which would check their validity to ensure that that individual was entitled to be residing and working in UK. She says “we like to think we are a forward thinking company and our experience in this field led us to recognise the issues and try to tackle it head on.” Having been fortunate enough to engage a very forward thinking Chief Immigration Officer at UKBA, a trial period of forward cases, where there was uncertainty over an individual’s credentials, was set up. This proved successful in identifying some individuals who were not validated and FCC’s hope was to get the scheme rolled out nationally. However, despite the fact that the proposal outlined by FCC Paragon would have cost the Government nothing at all, they rejected it on grounds they already had their own initiatives in place. In light of the news that landlords could face huge fines if they do not correctly check the immigration status of potential tenants, Ms Gaston comments: “This is just another regulatory burden for landlords and will not do anything to tackle immigration problems as professional landlords will already be taking such measures via thorough tenant referencing. Landlords have not been provided with a solution, they don’t know where to go to verify documents or how long it will take and most wouldn’t know if they were looking at a fraudulent document or not. This is a risky and careless step for the Government to have taken.”


Rental services firm offered ministers free immigrant check service Tuesday 21st May 2013

A tenancy referencing firm approached the Government three years ago and offered an immigrants’ checking service which would have cost taxpayers nothing. However, the offer was turned down flat. It has emerged that in 2010, FCC Paragon offered the Government what it calls “a credible free solution” that it had already trialled with the UK Border Agency. In 2010, after identifying growing concerns surrounding the verification of foreign nationals, Janie Gaston, operations director at FCC Paragon, wrote to deputy prime minister Nick Clegg offering a service which would check that tenants were entitled to be residing and working in UK. Gaston said: “We like to think we are a forward thinking company and our experience in this field led us to recognise the issues and try to tackle it head on.” By 2010 the firm was already concerned about the status of some foreign tenants. It says it had earlier set up a trial in conjunction with the “forward thinking” chief immigration officer at the UK Border Agency, specifically to deal with cases where there was uncertainty over an individual’s credentials. This, says the firm, proved successful in identifying some individuals who should not have been living and working in the UK, and FCC Paragon’s hope was to get the scheme rolled out nationally. However, says the firm, despite the fact that the proposal it outlined would have cost the Government nothing, they rejected it on grounds that they already had their own initiatives in place. The firm has now voiced its anger over plans announced in the Queen’s Speech that will make landlords responsible for checking the immigration status of any potential tenant. As part of their tenant referencing business, FCC Paragon says it comes across ‘numerous fraudulent applications’. The firm, which provides a variety of services to the lettings industry, says the problem of tenants who should not be in the UK has also become apparent when assisting landlords with rent arrears. In many cases, FCC Paragon says it has uncovered not just huge rent arrears, but sub-letting and substantive dilapidations. The firm also says that on the occasions where foreign nationals are involved, it has been nigh on impossible to have any recourse for return of monies outstanding, as often they have absconded before being able to take any action. With landlords now set to face huge fines if they do not correctly check the immigration status of potential tenants, Gaston said: “This is just another regulatory burden for landlords and will not do anything to tackle immigration problems, as professional landlords will already be taking such measures via thorough tenant referencing. “Landlords have not been provided with a solution. They don’t know where to go to verify documents or how long it will take, and most wouldn’t know if they were looking at a fraudulent document or not. This is a risky and careless step for the Government to have taken.”


UNGLEdrum News Landlord checks on immigrants slammed FCC Paragon has slammed the Government for announcing plans to make landlords responsible for checking the immigration status of any potential tenant, after it emerged that the firm offered to provide what it believes was a credible free solution over three years ago, an offer which was rejected. FCC, predominantly a tenant referencing company, which also provides a number of other services to the letting industry, says that it has come across numerous fraudulent applications being made, making it hard, in some cases, for landlords to do a proper tenancy check. This has also been apparent when assisting landlords via their Rent Recovery department, where tenancies have been granted and which have, in many cases led to, sub-letting, huge rent arrears, substantive dilapidations. They say on the occasions where foreign nationals are involved it has been nigh on impossible to have any recourse for return of monies outstanding, among other issues, as often they have absconded before being able to take any action. In 2010, after identifying growing concerns surrounding the verification of foreign nationals, Janie Gaston (left), Operations Director at FCC Paragon, wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, offering a service which would check their validity to ensure that that individual was entitled to be residing and working in UK. “We like to think we are a forward thinking company and our experience in this field led us to recognise the issues and try to tackle it head on,� she said.


FCC states that it issued a list of proposals designed to tackle immigration three years ago, but the Government rejected it on grounds they already had their own initiatives in place. But in light of the news that landlords could face huge fines if they do not correctly check the immigration status of potential tenants, Ms Gaston could not hide her annoyance. LPSNI director Kevin Firth (left) said: “This result is a wake-up call, and shows how much still needs to be done by landlords and lettings agents to get ready for 1 April.

She commented: “This is just another regulatory burden for landlords and will not do anything to tackle immigration problems as professional landlords will already be taking such measures via thorough tenant referencing. Landlords have not been provided with a solution, they don’t know where to go to verify documents or how long it will take and most wouldn’t know if they were looking at a fraudulent document or not. This is a risky and careless step for the Government to have taken.” Last week, Stephen Thornton, Director of External Affairs at the RICS, said that the Government had “stubbornly refused” to look at introducing better laws to protect both landlords and tenants. “It is unacceptable that it expects the property industry to deliver its immigration policy,” he commented. Guy Jenkinson, Head of New Homes for Bidwells (right), described the new immigration check rules as “yet another level of bureaucracy that is being dumped on the private sector.”



PR activity report for May 2013