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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Zero Deposit set to become ‘major part of renting’ for agents, landlords and tenants

With a sharp rise in the number of letting agents signing up to the Zero Deposit Guarantee, underpinning hundreds of tenancies across the UK, the people behind the scheme, predict that the tenant’s deposit replacement product, will soon become a major part of renting for agents, landlords and tenants across the UK.

Around 850 letting agents are now signed up to Zero Deposit’s FCA-regulated deposit replacement product, designed to reduce financial pressures on renters, while also offering greater security to landlords.

The insurance policy is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, part of the Munich Re Group, which the tenant acquires for a one off payment at the equivalent of one week’s rent, no matter the length of the tenancy, plus an annual admin fee of £26.

Under the terms of the scheme, tenants remain accountable for any damage or unpaid rents, with any disputes over claims by the landlord handled by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), which has an exclusive partnership with Zero Deposit.

Jon Notley, CEO and Co-Founder of Zero Deposit, commented: “Tenancies covered range from lower value lets in the regions through to high value London apartments. The product is appealing to all segments of the market with every age and property type covered.

“Tenants hugely appreciate the financial freedom our product offers, while agents and landlords are attracted to the genuine protection and credibility of our fully FCA regulated guarantee, with all of the safeguards that brings.”

A big development in recent weeks is the launch of Zero Deposit's Independent Agent product, which gives smaller agents access to the product for the first time.

Notely added: “We already have 30 independent agents live in our launch group, and many more who have expressed interest in joining our network.”

Having already rolled out to a number of larger agent groups in 2018, Notely is pleased to see the product now offered to the whole agent market, especially in light of the news that cash deposits are likely to be capped at five week's rent, whereas our product offers landlords six weeks protection.

It is important to point out that the scheme also offers referral commission to agents.

“With many hundreds of letting agent offices already live, and many more to launch in early 2019, we anticipate that Zero Deposit will become a major part of renting for agents, landlords and tenants across the UK,” Notely added.

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    Not for me, I want a deposit, will this mickie mouse insurance pay out in the event of a claim ?

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    I suspect that each policy will come with a massive sheet of terms and conditions and as always, 'the devil will be in the detail'
    When insuring a property recently, I was asked if it had any wood burning stove or open fire and also how many bathrooms did it have.
    I have never been asked this before and being very suspicious of insurance companies, it makes me wonder whether this is a new trick that they are employing in some way to absolve themselves from blame if there is a fire or leak from a bathroom?
    I would rather stick with the DPS scheme than leave a claim open to interpretation and possible refusal because of a breach hidden somewhere in the terms and conditions.

     
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    Thanks for commenting Andrew. The Zero Deposit Guarantee is an FCA regulated insurance backed guarantee, covered by Munich Re (one of the world's largest re-insurance firms) that covers all of the tenant's obligations under their tenancy agreement. If there is any dispute between the landlord and their tenant over any claim at the end of the tenancy, the evidence goes to TDS and is reviewed using the same processes and people as with a traditional cash deposit. Zero Deposit then pays the landlord within 2 days based on their findings.

     
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    What happens if the tenant fails to pay the renewal fee of £26, is the policy void? Would the Landlord be left with no cover at all?

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    Thanks Jo. The Zero Deposit Guarantee remains in place for the lifetime of the tenancy or 10 years, whichever is longer. If the tenant does not pay the admin fee, it does not affect the landlord's cover in any way, but non payment may affect the tenant's credit history.

     
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    I agree, if the tenant cannot afford a deposit then they can’t really afford to rent the property. The DPS has worked really well with my properties.

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    Affordability is something that comes up a lot when we are talking to landlords, Ken. Only tenants who have passed referencing qualify for the Zero Deposit Guarantee. As such, it's not about helping tenants who otherwise could not afford to rent, but rather giving tenants an option to reduce the upfront costs of moving.

     
  • Amanda Burrow

    I personally have been using this no depost scheme for many years ! I have to say it’s hard going tenants move at the drop of a hat leave all there belongings , I work extremely hard monitoring the properties on a weekly basics seeing if everyone it still there , very hard work
    and now there’s no procection for landlords via courts ! Are we as landlords becoming the laughing stock for the government , we are being hit from every way

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    These schemes miss the main point. Good tenants get back every penny of their deposit. Why trust any tenant who prefers the certainty of losing this insurance premium to the responsibility of taking care of our properties and putting their own money at risk? Yes another misguided plan to molly coddle the feckless and prevent them from taking responsibility for their own actions.

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