Zero Deposit™ Newsletter | September

Agents | Fri 2 Sep 22
In this month’s newsletter, we’re delighted to have @joe minney, our Risk and Transformation Director, put a spotlight on regulation, compliance and the importance of trust. You’ll also find an update on all the biggest things that have been happening at Zero Deposit in the last couple of months - we’ve been busy!

It's been a really busy few months at Zero Deposit, with our pedal to the metal on making our product work even better for you!

Rent-only Claims Are Now Paid in 1 Working Day

An industry first, Zero Deposit is now able to pay ERI Rent-Only claims within 24 hours; 99% of these claims are paid in full.

We’re here for landlords. And we know that it can be a huge challenge when they haven’t received the rent they’re due. So we’re putting their money back in their pocket quicker than ever.

More Choice with Flex

87% of tenants say they worry about finding a deposit, while 74% have to borrow money to pay a deposit - we don’t believe that’s right.

So in June we launched Flex - our revolutionary new product that lets tenants rent on their own terms. Incredibly, tenants can now move for around 5% of the cost of a cash deposit, and if they decide it’s not for them, then they can switch at any time.

Find out more about Flex here.

Zero Deposit Opens up to Students

Lots of you told us that only being able to introduce a tenant to Zero Deposit 3 months before the start of a tenancy stopped our product working for the student market - we listened!

You can now introduce 9 months before the start of a tenancy!!

Radically Improving Renting 

We're also thrilled to say we've now helped more than 100,000 tenants to move for less, freeing up their money to use on what they love!

Thank you for being on this journey with us. Together we're making a difference and the current cost of living crisis makes our work more important than ever. We love what we do and are passionate about playing our role in making renting easier, faster, and fairer. 

P.S. We're excited to say we have another huge benefit coming, but you'll hear more in the next few weeks 🤫

- The Zero Deposit Team

Industry Insight The Importance of Regulation in Deposit Replacement

One of the things we’re really proud of at Zero Deposit is that we offer a fully regulated product. Tenants and landlords can be assured of protection, while giving you confidence that we're minimising risk and keeping your valued customers safe.

We're also really proud of having Joe Minney, our Director of Transformation and Risk, on the Zero Deposit team. With years spent working at the Financial Ombudsman Service and his background as a non-practising barrister, Joe's our expert on all things Compliance (he's a man of many talents!)

We've asked Joe to tell us a bit about why he's passionate about regulation, and the role it plays in our industry.

Since Deposit Replacement picked up momentum in 2018 regulation has been an important - and often defining - factor for letting agents who are selecting a provider. After all, who wants to put their own business at risk when working with a new partner?! It’s something that ARLA Propertymark have placed weight on and has been a clear reason that many of the country's leading agents have selected Zero Deposit. 

This is clearly going to be more and more important with increased government scrutiny of this market, following the recent announcement in relation to the Lifetime Deposits policy agenda1 and the growth in the deposit replacement market. We're working alongside the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to support government's approach. This included us announcing our solution to the Lifetime Deposit policy challenge in May, Zero Deposit Flex2, a product we worked with DLUHC on. 

Importantly with Zero Deposit both the landlord and the tenant get the benefit of regulatory protections. That means we have to consider our duty to act in the customer's best interests for both sides, which other providers do not.  

Our combination of technology and regulation is important on a day-to-day basis. It helps us to control the way that our product is sold, ensuring that all customers get given the same information in the same way. This avoids staff in branch having to remember yet another list of things about one of many products. Tenants can be introduced to us and we’ll provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision. 

This is something we’re really effective at, with 97% of our tenants3;who purchase the guarantee confirming their understanding of their fundamental responsibilities. It also ensures agents avoid any confusion from the tenant’s perspective about whether Zero Deposit is a choice, and therefore mitigates the risk of accusations of "pressure selling", as we provide this information during the sales journey.  

In addition, we take on regulatory responsibility for our partner’s part in introducing the Zero Deposit Guarantee. This enhanced form of relationship means that we’re obligated to proactively check on our agents and take action if we identify any compliance issues. This means we're doing quality checking for you, so you have confidence that you and your teams are doing the right thing.

Our regulated status also means that both landlords and tenants can escalate their complaint to an Ombudsman if they’re unhappy with how we’ve treated them. This provides a further layer of protection and comfort to landlords and tenants alike. 

In summary, regulation is important for Deposit Replacement because:   Deposit replacement is maturing as a market and government policy needs are being met by deposit replacement providers.  Ensuring both sides of the tenancy, landlord and tenant, get access to protections is important to protect your future reputation. Being a Zero Deposit partner means that our processes add a layer of protection for you, not available through other providers. 

1 White Paper: A Fairer Private Rented Sector Page 62 2 Property Industry Eye: New flexible ‘lifetime deposit’ option launched by Zero Deposit 3 Internal Data: Average of responses to post-sale survey between April and July 2022.

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