by: Mary-Anne Bowring/West Wales Chroncile
New lettings platform PlanetRent allows rental properties to be offered as deposit-free while ensuring landlords are protected, helping landlords and agents cater to renters whose personal finances have suffered from the disruption caused by coronavirus. PlanetRent, which automates key processes in the lettings process such as compliance and marketing, has been developed in-house by residential property consultancy Ringley Group.
The company manages thousands of homes across the country and has invested over 2m in creating a suite of technological solutions for the residential market, including PlanetRent. PlanetRent’s partnership with Reposit will enable tenants to move into their new home without putting down a deposit, which after the introduction of the Tenant Fees Bill is now capped at 5 weeks, not the previous 6 weeks norm. Instead Reposit allows renters to purchase a ‘reposit’, which costs just one week’s rent as a service fee. Reposit offers market-leading property protection of 8 weeks which is now also available to PlanetRent landlords, with all admin being reduced.
Users of PlanetRent can use Reposit automatically, with all of the relevant information being sent to Reposit at the first instance. This includes information around the tenant and the tenancy contract. The average deposit paid by tenants over the past year sits at £1,299 according to mydeposits. The Office for National Statistics estimates the median earnings of Brits to be £585 a week, meaning a typical deposit would be over half a month’s income. Meanwhile, 15% of people have no savings at all, according to research by Legal & General, and just under a third have less than £1,500 in the bank.
Deposits could be a financial burden during a pandemic
With coronavirus upending the economy, household finances are likely to worsen, underlining the need for solutions that reduce key living costs such as renting. Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley and creator of PlanetRent, said: “Deposits help ensure landlords are protected from any extra damage caused by tenants beyond reasonable wear and tear but for many renters, they are a huge financial burden and will be even more so thanks to the uncertainty caused by coronavirus.
“The partnership between PlanetRent and Reposit allows landlords to house a greater range of people, including those on lower incomes who can’t necessarily afford a traditional deposit, while staying protected, and those looking for their first job, just leaving education or looking for their first home.” Jude Greer, co-founder at Reposit, comments: “For many renters the deposit will be one of their biggest, one-off financial expenses of the year.” “As coronavirus continues to impact the economy and personal finances, more and more people will not want to commit to that sum of money. Equally, landlords will be keen to reduce void periods whilst remaining protected in these uncertain times. Our partnership with PlanetRent allows many more landlords and tenants to benefit from Reposit’s product.”
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