Ethical lettings and property management company Temple Homes has acquired the portfolio of Ruben Property, in a move which brings two young business people together in historic offices in central Bristol.
Temple Homes was first set up four years ago as an alternative to the high street property agency, as a company where the rights of tenants are held in the same regard as those of the landlord.
Following consistent and significant growth since incorporation, Temple Homes has now acquired the portfolio of Ruben Property, established by Ben Dembo in the 1980s and recently taken over by his daughter and co-director Hattie.
To coincide with the acquisition, Temple Homes has rebranded and moved into the very same offices in Picton Street, Montpelier, occupied by Mr Dembo’s company from 1988 to 2001.
The expanded Temple Homes now has a portfolio of some 220 properties across Bristol, a mixture of let-only and managed properties.
With co-director Ms Dembo, 24, obtaining shareholding in Temple Homes in exchange for bringing her knowledge, qualifications and experience along with the Ruben Property portfolio, the pair have a solid footing on which to establish the future of their company.
Ms Dembo runs the finances and day-to-day business operations at Temple Homes while Mr Mueller focuses on business growth. She said: “This partnership has given me a chance to conduct business in a way that I feel is right.
“Finding a new business partner with the same ethos and goals as me is a considerable achievement and we can now move forward with Temple Homes’ goal to change the perception of the industry.”
Mr Mueller said: “We’re in a position loaded with potential. We have a large portfolio, consistent growth and a reputation for prioritising quality of service to both landlords and tenants, over profit.
“It’s hard for tenants at the moment. There aren’t many who enjoy the experience of renting. We want to change that, while helping people get a roof over their heads. But we also recognise that landlords want to capitalise on their major assets. There’s nothing wrong with that either. We manage this by working with considerate landlords who have the same philosophy as us.
“So we have a chance here to do something new and exciting, which chimes with the culture of Bristol and is based on decency and morality, not just profit.
“How does this manifest itself? It’s things like not marking up contractor costs to landlords, like keeping our tenant referencing service in house so we can build a rapport with tenants whilst also accommodating personal circumstances. We will hold viewings outside office hours and give all tenants until 10am the following morning to submit offers, so people are not rushed into decisions and so that all parties have an equal opportunity to offer.
“This approach to viewings is also of great benefit to our landlords, who can ensure their asset is let to the most suitable tenants and not the first ones through the door.
“Our openness extends to the property inspections on our portfolio of managed homes, where the reports generated are sent to both our landlords and tenants to ensure our comments, positive or negative, are transparent. This openness nurtures respect between all of our clients.
“Our role is about creating trust and respect in relationships between tenants and landlords. The only thing that separates a good tenant from a bad one is the respect they have for the agency or landlord that they’re renting from.
“We’re still making our mark and, at the moment, I’m constantly having to convince people – especially parents of tenants – that we’re different. I want to reach the point where people know the brand for the values we’re bringing to the industry.
“It certainly feels like the right thing to be back in the home of Ben Dembo’s old offices on Picton Street. Montpelier’s a part of the city which reflects Bristol’s mixture of capitalism and socialism. The property market is somewhere where those two ideologies meet and we want it to be done the right way.”