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Deposit-free renting

Landlords. Let deposit-free and benefit from extra protection, faster lets, quicker payouts and fewer void periods

flatfair – a tenancy deposit alternative available from selected Hunters branches

A Deposit Alternative means that, instead of paying a traditional five weeks’ security deposit (or six weeks where the annual rent exceeds £50,000), tenants pay a fee of one week’s rent +VAT (minimum of £144) to become a member of a deposit-free renting scheme which can significantly reduce their upfront costs. This fee is non-refundable and is not a deposit. Any outstanding costs or damages will be payable by the tenant(s) at the end of the tenancy.

What are the benefits of deposit-free renting for landlords?

  • Attract up to 70% more applicants to your property
  • Receive market-leading protection of up to 10 weeks against damages and/or rent arrears – an extra 5 weeks’ cover compared to a traditional deposit
  • If there’s any damages or unpaid rent, you’re put back in pocket within 10 days of charges being agreed
  • Top notch support from flatfair’s Customer Support team who are on hand to answer all of your queries and questions throughout your tenancy

Landlord FAQs: Deposit-Free Letting

1) What is flatfair?

flatfair is the simple, safe and affordable alternative to tenancy deposits. Instead of an expensive deposit, tenants simply pay flatfair a small one-off membership fee and cover the cost of any established charges at the end of their tenancy. flatfair helps tenants and landlords settle end of tenancy charges quickly, fairly and securely, while protecting everyone through Independent Dispute Resolution. flatfair achieves faster lettings, a reduction in disputes and greater recovery of residual losses.

2) What are the benefits of deposit-free renting?

Without an expensive upfront deposit, flatfair gives landlords a competitive advantage; your properties become affordable and attractive to more tenants, reducing voids. We facilitate fast resolution of charges and disputes with your tenants – in fact, you may even sell us unpaid established charges up to a total value of 10 weeks’ rent. If worse comes to worst, you can appoint flatfair to recover any additional sums at no cost.

3) How much does it cost?

For agents and landlords, it’s free! For tenants, flatfair charges a one-off fee equal to the value of one week’s rent (excl. VAT), replacing the need for a traditional expensive tenancy deposit.

4) Is flatfair safe?

Yes. flatfair is insured by an A-rated financial institution.

5) How do I join?

flatfair is an invite-only scheme for agents. Speak to your local Hunters team and they can help to get you started.

6) How do I submit end-of-tenancy charges?

flatfair simplifies the charging and negotiation process between you and your tenants. All that you have to do is upload evidence and submit your charges directly through the flatfair online portal. It only takes a matter of minutes.

7) What’s the big deal about flatfair’s terms?

Cutting-edge technology enables flatfair to put you in pocket faster, leading to quicker turnover and fewer voids. By providing upfront liquidity for any damages or rent arrears, we alleviate hold-ups caused by ‘frozen’ (where tenants don’t respond) or ‘withheld’ (where ongoing litigation results in delays) deposits.

8) Do I still need to register a deposit?

No. flatfair completely replaces the need for tenancy deposits, saving you time and money on deposit registration, while offering peace of mind to both you and your tenants.

9) When does flatfair expire?

flatfair’s security expires in line with the initial tenancy end date, or after 24 months (whichever comes first). It can be extended at any time through the flatfair portal, free of charge.

10) Does flatfair require tenants to be referenced?

Yes, all flatfair members must meet the minimum referencing criteria.

Getting started with deposit-free renting – How it works

Checking in

1.    You can offer your new tenants flatfair’s deposit-free renting solution as an alternative to a traditional rental deposit.

2.    Following regular move-in checks that Hunters undertakes on your behalf, your new tenants can secure their new home with just a debit card. Using the online flatfair portal, tenants pay a one-off check-in fee. This fee is equal to one week’s rent (+VAT).*

*Or £120, whichever is greater. The fee is non-refundable. The fee does not count towards end-of-tenancy charges.

Checking out

1.    If you opted for our fully managed landlord services, we will carry out the check-out checks at the end of the tenancy. If there are any damages or unpaid rent, tenants will receive a check-out bill.

2.    Should a dispute arise over the charges, government-backed independent adjudicators* will help to sort out the situation quickly and fairly.

3.    With the No Deposit scheme, once the charges are agreed, landlords will be offered up to 10 weeks’ worth of protection. The payment will be deposited within 10 days.

*Landlords are required to pay a £100 adjudication fee. At least 75% will be refunded if the adjudication goes in their favour. Tenants need to pay £25 towards the adjudication process. This will be returned to them if the amount awarded is less than the proposed charge.

How do deposit-free renting schemes benefit tenants?

While the Tenant Fees Act reduced the amount that tenants had to pay in upfront fees to secure a new home, it still didn’t help tenants who were moving from one rental property to another. This is because tenants would still be required to shell out thousands of pounds for a new deposit, prior to the previous deposit being returned to them.

However, with deposit-free renting, the amount that tenants are required to pay ahead of moving in is only equal to one week’s rent (+VAT).

Choosing to rent deposit-free means that tenants can move in faster because there’s less paperwork with which to contend, the amount that they need to save is vastly smaller, and cash that would once have been tied up in their deposit is theirs to spend on other things.

What happens if a tenant breaks something?

Under the deposit-free renting scheme, tenants are still liable for any damages. Any costs will be calculated upon check-out. The lettings process remains the same.

What if the tenants don’t agree to the charges?

If the tenants dispute any of the charges upon checking out, you can raise a case with a government-backed independent adjudicator*. Cases are handled quickly, fairly and impartially.

*Landlords are required to pay a £100 adjudication fee. At least 75% will be refunded if the adjudication goes in their favour. Tenants need to pay £25 towards the adjudication process. This will be returned to them if the amount awarded is less than the proposed charge.

What if there are multiple tenants?

Like a traditional cash deposit, all tenants are jointly liable. All tenants must agree to rent deposit-free; there cannot be a combination of tenants who have paid a deposit and tenants who have signed up for the deposit-free renting scheme.

Do landlords have to sign up to deposit-free renting schemes?

No. You don’t need to sign up for the deposit-free renting scheme. You can still rent your property by accepting a traditional cash deposit; although this could deter potential renters who do not have enough money saved.

If you’re unsure if deposit-free renting is for you, contact your nearest Hunters branch and speak with one of our lettings experts.

Why choose Hunters’ deposit-free renting scheme?

Hunters has a team of lettings specialists throughout the UK. Offering a variety of different landlord services, you can have complete peace of mind that your property is in good hands.

Teaming up with flatshare means that we’re at the forefront of the deposit-free renting revolution, placing you in a prime position for attracting and keeping new tenants.

We know how time-consuming being a landlord can be, which is why, with flatshare, we’re able to take away the hassle (and the extra paperwork).

If you’d like to know more about the deposit-free renting scheme and understand how Hunters can help, contact your nearest Hunters branch.

You can also check out our helpful Landlord page hub, which has all the information you need, whether you’re a new landlord or you have a property portfolio packed with residential opportunities.

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