Insurance and compliance giant Hamilton Fraser has launched its own alternative deposits renting product called Ome as demand for this kind of product from both agents and tenants has ramped up.
Entering an increasingly crowded market that includes Zero Deposit and Flatfair, Ome will operate alongside Hamilton Fraser’s government-approved traditional mydeposits protection scheme.
The key difference with its competitors is that the service will be a ‘Netflix’ style flexible subscription – so tenants will be able to sign up for as many or few months at they wish – but like other schemes will be based on membership of a scheme backed by insurance.
CEO Eddie Hooker (pictured, above) says he has launched Ome despite initial concerns about alternative deposit products, but claims the pressures on letting agents brought about by the tenant fees ban, new Client Money Protection regulations and rising rents prompted him to bring forward his plans.
“We also started to receive requests from some of the largest brands in the property industry to work together and build a product that could rival the ‘disrupters’ in the deposit market,” says Hooker.
“These brands ranged from the largest tech brands in the industry to some of the largest insurance businesses that have interest in the private rental sector.”
Hamilton Fraser has a ready market for its Ome. Through its existing businesses the company services over 15,000 letting agents, 200,000 landlords and over two million tenants, as well as registering over 150,000 new tenancies via mydeposits each year.
Also, Ome will be served by the company’s in-house adjudication service, HF Resolution.
Hooker says is company is launching the product in a way that won’t conflict with its existing, government-approved deposit protection scheme.
Hamilton Fraser says it will ensure every tenant and landlord is ‘aware of the pros and cons’ of the different deposit protection options available to them via Ome.