60: Second Interview :Steve Harriott, TDS
Thursday 28th June 2012
Q: What does it say on your business card?
Steve Harriott, Chief Executive Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Q: Who is TDS?
It’s the Tenancy Deposit Scheme which is run by The Dispute Service Ltd.
Q: How long has TDS been trading?
Since 2003, although the Tenancy Deposit Scheme has been running since April 2007. I’ve been CEO since September 2010.
Q: How did it all start?
The Dispute Service was involved in running a pilot tenancy deposit protection scheme and a voluntary tenancy deposit scheme for ARLA and RICS. These were the precursors of the statutory scheme which was introduced in the 2004 Housing Act.
Q: Why choose TDS?
Because we are an experienced, multi-award winning, customer focused company. We are the only not for profit provider of tenancy deposit protection, which means any surpluses are returned to members by lower subscriptions or improved services – 2012 saw both! We offer insurance backed tenancy deposit protection meaning the member landlord or agent keeps hold of the deposit and only has to deal with us in the very small number of cases where there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy.
Q: What are your three unique selling points?
- Accountable to our members
- Not for profit
- Backed by NFoPP and RICS
Q: Who do you currently work with?
We work with a wide range of regulated lettings agents, corporate landlords and since January 2012, thousands of landlords. We have close links with ARLA, NAEA, RICS and NALS as well as the RLA.
Q: How do you overcome your competitors?
We focus on delivering excellent customer service (recognised through our government customer service excellence award), value for money by reducing headline rates and offering discounts for good performance, accountability by publishing a wide range of information about tenancy deposit protection and by listening to our members and end users. You won’t find an annual report on any other scheme than TDS!
Q: What is your greatest achievement and what made it so special?
Winning the UK Government Customer Excellence Award and the best Tenancy Deposit Service of the Year Award last month. It is an external recognition that TDS is a great organisation, which delivers excellent services on a not for profit basis. And it’s special as it shows how far we have come in the two years I have been at TDS.
Q: What do you feel it takes to be successful in the industry?
In my view a successful landlord or lettings agent has to be customer focussed, deliver a high quality service and offer value for money to their customers. That’s what we aim to do and it’s why we are now so successful.
Q: Are you offering any special promotions?
Of course! We are now offering landlords tenancy deposit protection at rates way below those of MyDeposits and with no joining fee. And for regulated lettings agents we are keen to recruit new members and can look at special deals if members want to move to TDS. Call our Member Relations Team for more information on 0845 226 7837
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