“The landlord reaction to the product has been really, really encouraging,” says Jonathan Ayre, Area Lettings Manager of Rook Matthews Sayer. In this video interview, he explains that the agency has seen 15% more applicants, with a 15% increase in viewings, since it launched Zero Deposit a few months ago.
When we asked Jonathan to describe his company’s experience as letting agents offering no deposit insurance, he was keen to explain how his team brought landlords round from initial scepticism to wholehearted engagement.
Jonathan admits that when they were first introduced to the concept of a deposit guarantee scheme, his landlords reacted with “a little bit of initial shock” , but adds that the backing of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has helped to reassure landlords who may be reluctant to work with an estate agent where no deposit is required.
No hassle letting
Zero Deposit was created to make renting faster and more affordable, reducing paperwork and improving the level of cover for landlords (under the Zero Deposit guarantee, landlords are covered for six weeks’ rent, rather than the five weeks offered under a traditional agreement). Dispute resolution - handled by our expert evaluation partner The Dispute Service (TDS) - is faster, too, with payments made within two days if the dispute is settled in the landlord’s favour.
In Jonathan’s experience, once the scheme has been carefully explained and the decision to go ahead has been made, landlords who offer a Zero Deposit letting start to see the benefits almost immediately.
Feedback from landlords and tenants
“They’ve been really over the moon with the outcome,” Jonathan says, describing the reaction of landlords who have engaged with Zero Deposit. He has found that as a Zero Deposit estate agent he is now able to offer landlords a faster let with high-quality tenants: “Which is basically the two main things a landlord is looking for.”
One particular landlord who returned to their agency after a break was delighted when new tenants moved in after just eight days, paying £50 more than the rent advertised by their previous agency.
From the tenants’ point of view, Jonathan has talked to a number of applicants who have been able to move in more quickly with Zero Deposit, buying essential items of furniture for their new home with money that would otherwise have been locked away in a traditional cash deposit.
Jonathan is clear about the commercial advantages of becoming a Zero Deposit agent. Although Rook Matthews Sayer has only just begun its Zero Deposit journey, he has no doubt about the reason for the marked increase in the number of applicants the agency has seen. “It’s the right product at the right time,” says Jonathan, adding: “It’s definitely given us the competitive edge.”
Find out more about becoming a Zero Deposit estate agent.