Leading national rent guarantor service has amended its website following a complaint from a member of the public that claims made within it were misleading, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has reported.
The complainant pointed out that text within Housing Hand’s website didn’t make it clear that ‘co-signers’ who signed up to its service with a tenant would be jointly responsible for paying the rent if the rental payments stopped.
The text included: “When you use Housing Hand as your rent guarantor, we’ll need a co-signer to sign-up with you. This can be a parent, family member or friend.
“As long as they’re working and over the age 18 they’ll usually be suitable. We won’t need to credit check them or you, it’s just someone else we can contact if we can’t get hold of you”.
But only when visitors to the website clicked an ‘information’ button were they served with additional text explaining that co-signers are “jointly liable for repaying Housing Hand should you default on your rent”.
“We contacted the advertiser, who agreed to make changes to the subheading text to make this clearer. On that basis, we resolved the case informally,” an ASA spokesperson says.
Housing Hand says…
A spokesperson told The Negotiator: “As the market leader in the guarantor marketplace, we are pleased to work with the ASA to set and maintain the right standards to ensure there is transparency and clarity in the industry.
“We also are proud of our strong client feedback and ratings on both Trustpilot and Google; we take all feedback as an opportunity to further enhance our client experience and scope of services.
“This month, we were asked, by the ASA, to provide further prominence regarding an aspect of our customer journey and this was completed in full compliance and concluded informally with the ASA.
“The principle of being clear, ethical and inclusive is essential to sustainability in any ecosystem, and we aspire to set an example for others to follow.
“At Housing Hand, we can proudly confirm that we have maintained a 100% pay out rate on all valid claims, especially during the current pandemic, even when some others have sadly not been able.
“We are happy to continue to work closely with the ASA to ensure that consumer is fully aware of their rights and the services they are purchasing.