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How tenant referencing leads to £350 per property, per year for letting agents…

Posted by on October 15, 2019

In October 2019, Let Alliance sat down with Paul Buck of Boydens to discuss the impact the Let Alliance Nil Deposit has had on one of the UK’s most successful Sales and Lettings businesses:


“The Nil Deposit Scheme from Let Alliance has been a complete game-changer for us. It has enabled our business to now offer an alternative. It shows our landlords that we are forward-thinking and looking at different ways in which to secure the best possible tenant for them. It has also drawn attention to our business from prospective tenants.”


When did you first discover that Nil Deposit was the best fit for Boydens?

We first began talking about Nil Deposit a couple of years ago and initially we had some concerns that this would align us with social housing and the schemes that they provide, however we could not have been more wrong. We launched Nil Deposit in April 2018 alongside our Rent on Time product and have since seen even further success with the Utilities Management service. We contacted all of our landlords to announce the new services and explained the benefits to them, the key ones being 6 weeks’ worth of protection over the current 5 week restriction, and the time saved at end of tenancy when it comes to claim, compared to other deposit replacement providers.


What were your landlord’s thoughts on the Nil Deposit Scheme?

Some were a little hesitant at first, however we took the time to explain the fantastic benefits. We initially launched the product on a selling basis, with permission from landlords to advertise properties with the Nil Deposit Scheme, however due to take up and our confidence in the product we began to market all properties with the option for Nil Deposit as default where landlords could opt out if they wished. Nil Deposit has been a complete game changer for us. It has enabled our business to now offer an alternative. It shows our landlords that we are forward thinking and looking at different ways in which to secure the best possible tenant for them.


What difference has Nil Deposit had on prospective tenants?

We promote the Nil Deposit Scheme using our window display and have held a ‘Nil Deposit Day’ in all of our branches. We have found that tenants love the option. In terms of procedures and processes, very little changes are needed. We simply add that the property is available with both a traditional cash and Nil Deposit alternative to all of our property adverts. We also have the help of the Let Alliance Nil Deposit marketing to engage applicants at viewing stage.


What impact has Nil Deposit had on the overall tenancy process?

Nil Deposit has made a massive impact at the end of the tenancy. We currently lodge our deposits with the Tenancy Deposit Service. Our current process is to spend time with the tenant trying to secure agreement to costs before then making a claim and this can take 1 to 2 weeks depending on how quick the tenant replies. During this time the landlord cannot progress with the work unless of course they wish to fund themselves as we have no access to the deposit. There is also the issue of the pro tenant view offered by the Tenancy Deposit Service and the time involved in putting a claim together, which has now been removed. Once the applicant applies and they wish to take up Nil Deposit, Let Alliance handle the entire process meaning we have no further input. Let Alliance will then liaise with the applicant, taking all of the relevant costs and will issue us with a copy of the agreement for peace of mind that it is completely secure.


How simple is it to make a claim on Nil Deposit?

The claims process has been significantly reduced thanks to Nil Deposit. We spend no longer than 3 days trying to secure agreement with the tenant. If after this time the tenant is silent or not prepared to engage, we will refer to Let Alliance under an entitlement claim and the job is done. Let Alliance will then allow the tenant the required 14 days in which to dispute, however to date we have never had to wait this long. Payment is always made fast, and although usually a 31 day period for payment is made, in our experience we haven’t waited more than a week from the initial 14 days.”


Finally, we asked Paul: What advice would you give to other businesses considering the Nil Deposit Scheme?

I would have no hesitation in recommending Nil Deposit to other agents, and don’t forget there is also the added benefit of fantastic commission rates on each Nil Deposit sale achieved. If you then consider the time periods with the Tenancy Deposit Service and a dispute, we are seeing money in the bank some 4 weeks earlier than we would have if it was a claim through this service.


If you would like to know more about our market-leading Nil Deposit Scheme, Rent on Time service, Utilities Management platform or any of the other products that make up our £350 per property, per year proposition, email [email protected] or phone 01244 564 986.

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