Agency group Spicerhaart has signed up with smartphone-based deposits alternative Flatfair and will now offer the service via the company’s 100 lettings branches to its 15,000 landlords.
Instead of taking a deposit, tenants pay a ‘membership fee’ equivalent to one week’s rent while landlords are covered for up to 12 weeks’ worth of rent. Tenants are still liable for any damages to the property and unpaid rent, sums that Flatfair recovers itself on behalf of the landlord.
Benefits claimed by Flatfair,which is not an insurance-based product unlike many of its competitors, include faster damage payouts, access to a pool of more reliable tenants via its tenant scoring system, faster lettings, lower agent costs and fewer lengthy voids.
“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,” says Spicerhaart’s Lettings Development Director Paul Sloan (left).
“We were highly impressed with Flatfair’s innovative technology and how easy the platform was to use. We’re confident it’ll mean not only lower up-front costs for tenants but also help make our landlords’ properties more appealing.
Flatfair, which was founded by former banker and analyst Franz Doerr in June last year, is the latest firm to join the ‘deposits alternative’ market.
“We’re thrilled to have partnered with such a well-established and progressive estate agency group that supports deposit-free renting,” says Chairman Chris Phillips (right).
“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 technology.”
Other recent entrants into this market include former ZPG executive Jon Notley’s recently-launched ZeroDeposit which offers a very similar service plus more established players Reposit and Dlighted.