Rightmove is exploring its options for entering the deposit replacement scheme and rent passport space.
The portal could be the next name to unveil a deposit alternative as well as a tenant passport-style scheme for agents that provides a permanent record that a renter could use with multiple landlords.
A spokesperson told EYE: “We’re exploring a number of things in the rental market to see if any of them could help make the process easier for agents and for tenants.
“We will be testing these with agents to see if they could provide any tangible benefits to them.”
If it does enter this market, the portal would compete with existing players such as flatfair, Dlighted, Canopy and Reposit and would ultimately be going head-to-head with Zoopla, which has backed the Zero Deposit proposition run by ex-commercial officer Jon Notley.
Zero Deposit, which has previously announced a partnership with The Dispute Servce (TDS), is set to launch in December.
Notley told EYE: “Zero Deposit continues to attract interest and support as we approach our launch in the next few weeks. We have already announced our partnerships with TDS, Zoopla, Munich RE – and significant funding from a number of financial investors.
“In addition, we will soon be announcing further investment from a number of leading UK agents, who operate a substantial number of offices and who will be introducing our product to their tenants.
“The Zero Deposit business is well funded and supported by a wide range of industry partners, with a product that has been designed to not only offer tenants lower costs at the point of moving, but also – crucially – giving landlords maximum protection, with every policy underwritten by Munich RE.
“We are very excited about our forthcoming launch which we will announce soon.”
Tahir Farooqui, chief executive of Canopy, which already has agents such as Hamptons using its deposit replacement scheme, told EYE: “It’s great to see that the property portals are also thinking about alternatives to cash security deposits, which are structurally inefficient for the market.
“At Canopy, DepositFree has been one of our key offerings over the past 12 months, underwritten by Hiscox and with fantastic feedback from renters and property partners.
“Our core proposition, however, is RentPassport, which is being developed in partnership with Experian. It is about far more than filling a gap in revenue for our property partners post the letting agent fee ban.
“Our RentPassport acts as a record of trust and credibility, with all applicants undergoing rigorous screening that includes credit checks powered by Experian.
“This enables landlords and agents to use our RentPassport in their assessment of quality renters, thereby removing red tape and friction from the on-boarding process.
“It will also allow renters to pay their rent through the Canopy app, improving their Experian credit score along the way.
“Canopy is an independent platform, so agents, renters and landlords will have the choice of working with independent start-ups, including Canopy.
“At Canopy, we are focused on building a range of innovative consumer-centric payment and insurance-based solutions. We are setting the standard for portals to follow.”