Deposit-free renting provider Flatfair has signed a partnership with the UK's largest independent estate agency Spicerhaart which has 100 letting branches across the UK.
The move will bring the platform to a wider audience, as thousands of tenants and landlords gain access to Flatfair's membership service.
Instead of taking a deposit, landlords using Spicerhaart can ask tenants to pay a one-off fee - equal to the value of one week’s rent - to join Flatfair, which offers residential landlords up to 12 week’s protection and a free debt recovery option for any additional claims.
Paul Sloan, lettings development director at Spicerhaart, said: “Many landlords are concerned that their property is not sufficiently protected by a tenancy deposit, particularly true in the light of the upcoming deposit-cap, and that lengthy void periods and penalties eat away at their rental yield. When a tenant doesn’t respond to claims, the deposit is frozen and landlords are left out of pocket.”
The online portal, insured by an A-rated financial institution, A.M. Best, cuts out all unnecessary paperwork and strives to help landlords and tenants settle claims more quickly, fairly and securely, according to Flatfair’s chairman, Chris Phillips, who is also keen to point out that both landlords nad tenants using his firm’s platform are also protected through a government-authorised Independent Dispute Resolution service.
He commented: “Deposit-replacement schemes have proved hugely popular in Germany and Switzerland and our simple, safe and customer-friendly alternative to deposits comes without the burdens and caveats of an insurance product. Our mission is to improve financial freedom in the residential property market through the use of technology.
“Not only do tenants benefit from no longer having to tie up money in deposits, but landlords and agents achieve higher earnings, fewer voids, a reduction in tenancy disputes and greater recovery of residual losses. This yields better overall investment return and improved customer satisfaction.
“Flatfair builds on the strengths of the government’s deposit protection scheme whilst improving the way payments and protection work. This creates faster, more secure and fairer transactions promoting better relationships between landlords and tenants within the private rented sector.”