Timely launch for new deposit replacement service which looks to recruit – and reward – agents

A new service has launched into the burgeoning market where traditional tenancy deposits can be substituted.

It joins existing providers Reposit, Dlighted and InsureStreet, while Zero Deposit is to launch later this year.

The flatfair launch is also timely, given the capping of tenants’ deposits announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Flatfair’s proposition is that tenants pay it a ‘flatbond’ – a week’s worth of rent – before the tenancy starts. In return for this, landlords are covered for 12, rather than the usual six, weeks of rent.

As with a normal deposit, the tenant remains liable to pay for any damages costing up to the equivalent of six weeks of rent. The idea is that they are thus incentivised to behave responsibly.

There is also independent resolution of any disputes arising after the end of the tenancy.

Flatfair also streamlines and digitises the entire deposit and flatbond registration process, including any change of sharer, claims and payments.

Letting agents share up to 30% of flatfair’s revenues and can use the platform for free, including where the tenant puts down a normal deposit with one of the authorised schemes.

Flatbond is not an insurance produce, and was developed with the support of the Financial Conduct Authority’s innovation hub.

Instead flatfair itself is insured for debt collection and contract disputes.

Because flatbond is not an insurance product, letting agents would be able to advise on it.

Flatfair has launched ahead of Zero Deposit, a similar scheme which offers landlords six weeks’ protection, which is led by former Zoopla director Jon Notley and has the powerful backing of Zoopla itself.

Flatfair is now in the process of establishing a UK-wide distribution network of partnered letting agents, and says it is shortly to introduce additional products.

These will include free tenant referencing, including Right to Rent; free independent inventory checks; and discounts for tenants on services such as cleaning, repairs, broadband and utilities.

The launch of flatfair also comes after this week’s announcement in the Queen’s Speech that tenants’ deposits are to be capped to one month of rent.

Flatfair has been launched by CEO Franz Doerr, who identified a similar deposit product in the German market where he says alternatives to deposits are well-established.

Doerr said of the UK launch: “We kept all the best elements of the government-regulated deposit schemes and simply changed the payment style, so that agents can easily adopt our solution.”

Tenants must pass referencing first. Agents can then create a flatbond – or offer the traditional deposit – through the flatfair platform, and tenants can pay via their phone.

Agents can also convert existing deposits to flatbonds.

Discounted rates are offered over time for good tenants. Doerr said: “Good tenants are our mates and our mates get mates’ rates.”

www.flatfair.co.uk

x

Email the story to a friend

8 Comments

  1. Danielff85

    We are thrilled to be covered in such positive light. flatfair is the only deposit alternative that seeks to work with agents providing cost reductions and added revenue opportunities for life. Feel free to reach out with any questions on info@flatfair.co.uk

    Report
  2. vanmeld86

    Finally something that I can actually sell to my landlords – long overdue

    Report
  3. devonlondoner59

    On the Flatfair website you are referring to the 1 week deposit as a ‘fee’.  Tenant fees are to be banned.

    Report
    1. Danielff85

      Hi Devon, Thank you for your comment – you have raised an interesting point.
      With flatfair, tenants have the choice of either using a flatbond or going with the traditional deposit – since it is an optional service to the tenant, the regulation on fees doesn’t apply. 
      Please get in touch and I can tell you more.

      Report
      1. KByfield04

        Daniel as the legislation is yet to be formed surely it is impossible, at this time, to answer this categorically. The hope is that some flexibility will remain however given the surprise added regs to Holding & Security Deposits not mentioned in consultation no one will know what the framework will be until government finalise this. As a cost/fee to tenants and not a deposit this could be impacted- let’s hope not…..but no one can answer this for sure at this time.

        Report
  4. Elliot13

    This is just Reposit?

    Report
    1. franz_flatfair19

      Hi Elliot,
      vs. Reposit, flatfair offers double the protection (12 weeks of rent), works with a government authorised resolution provider and also allows its partnered agents to convert exisiting deposits into flatbonds – streamlining the whole ‘deposit process’ and reducing complexity. You will also be able to register regular deposits through our platform within minutes and use our claim negotiation tool and tenancy timeline for free.
      We create a whole ecosystem around tenancy security and communication, which will make renting more affordable and fair for tenants, landlords and agents. Reposit is just a product.
      I hope that helps. Drop me a line and I will talk you through our offering in more detail franz@flatfair.co.uk

      Report
  5. AngelAgent98

    Having met both Daniel and Franz earlier this year over lunch in Muswell Hill, i am very excited for you both. From our first meeting it was clear you two were on to something and you both impressed me immensely. I am also very pleased my company Century 21 had the foresight to be one of your very first clients. We look forward to a long a fruitful relationship. All the best Daniel

    Report
X

You must be logged in to report this comment!

Leave a Reply