Tue 12 Jun 2018
With deposit rates soaring and tenants coming under increasing financial stress, now is the time to embrace the alternative deposit space. Here at Sowerbys, we have done just that.
We will now be offering deposit free renting through our new partnership with flatfair; one of the first agents in Norfolk to do so. This innovative initiative keeps the best of the existing government scheme, while disrupting the way payments and protection work, bringing benefits to tenants and landlords alike.
Currently, private tenants now make up more than 21% of British households and the average deposit has rocketed to £1,254, which can be prohibitive to some. It’s no wonder then that hundreds of thousands of 18 to 34-year-olds believe that renting a house and saving for a deposit is "impossible”. Being forced to pay expensive deposits that overlap between tenancies could mean tenants also miss out on opportunities to rent. With the option to rent deposit-free, all that will change.
Instead of paying the upfront, often large, expense of a deposit, Sowerbys tenants can now pay a simple one-off membership fee of just one week’s rent + VAT split between the household - a huge saving! Easing up the financial stress of moving and no longer having two deposits tied up, tenants can now put their hard-earned money to better use.
Accidents happen, but now tenants won’t have to worry about covering the cost of any damages until the end of their tenancy. This ‘pay as you leave’ policy is fairer and much more transparent, because tenants can see exactly what they’re being charged for and why. Any negotiations and claims can be undertaken safely and with full transparency, with access to Independent Dispute Resolution.
Good tenants are rewarded too. Those who stick to their rental obligations by paying rent on time and caring for the property build up a strong ‘flatscore’, gaining credibility and future discounts.
Whilst the market may be becoming more tenant focused, landlords can reap the benefits of this new deposit-free scheme too.
Lengthy voids and lost revenue can be a huge challenge for landlords. Between January and April 2018, 35% of landlords experienced a void period which can be stressful and costly. Adding to this, existing deposit schemes can fall short of providing the right level of efficiency and protection, so when it comes to covering the cost of damages and rent arears, landlords can be left out of pocket.
However, deposit-free renting with flatfair ensures faster pay-outs and double protection (‘double’ as in twice the amount offered by a six-week deposit). This, in addition to faster pay-outs for lawful claims, gives landlords peace of mind and enables properties to be re-let faster. Furthermore, as we know, cash deposits are expensive, so a deposit-free scheme gives landlords a competitive edge by offering a more affordable property.
Breaking new ground
This pioneering new scheme takes all the best bits from the traditional deposit scheme, whilst bringing some key benefits to landlords and tenants alike, something not often achieved in the lettings industry.
As our Group Lettings Manager, Ed Tyman, explains, “It’s clear the current deposit system needed a fresh approach and aligning with developing tenant and landlord expectations. The private rental sector continues to grow and evolve rapidly and the need for innovative technology-based solutions to streamline the customer experience has never been greater.
Our landlords now have access to a range of benefits including twelve weeks protection rather than the traditional, soon to be capped six weeks.
At Sowerbys we also recognise that moving can be a financially stressful time for tenants. Flatfair provides choice, transparency, quicker resolution and cash flow; we are delighted to be able to support renters across Norfolk, whilst providing our landlords with even more piece of mind.
This scheme is being launched on Friday 15th June. If you want to find out more about our new deposit-free renting scheme, or are interested in renting or letting a property through Sowerbys, please contact us 01362 693560.
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