The Dispute Service (TDS) has announced today that it will provide dispute resolution for a new deposit replacement company.
The 'long-term strategic partnership' is with Zero Deposit, the firm being run by former ZPG chief commercial officer Jon Notley.
Zero Deposit is one of a number of firms aiming to replace the traditional tenancy deposit with an insurance-based product.
These firms – including Dlighted, Reposit and InsureStreet - are also known as nil or zero deposit schemes.
TDS says it has also made an investment into the new business - which aims to launch later this year - and takes a seat on its board.
Deposit replacement products offer tenants the opportunity to purchase an insurance policy instead of a deposit.
This policy guarantees the landlord any approved losses incurred as a result of action by the tenant up to a specified value.
Tenants remain responsible for any damage or outstanding payments at the end of the tenancy contract. However, if these debts are not honoured then the landlord is covered and paid by the deposit replacement scheme.
“While deposit protection is the core of TDS’s business through our insured and custodial schemes we recognise the merits of a different kind of scheme where no deposit is taken and one that addresses the affordability/mobility issues that may arise with deposits," explains Steve Harriott, group chief executive of TDS.
“Whatever option tenants, landlords and agents choose, we are determined to ensure that claims can be assessed with impartiality and professionalism."
He says his organisation chose to partner with Zero Deposit as it is 'credible' and has already partnered with a number of agents pre-launch.
"Zero Deposit’s ethos mirrors our own: their approach is open and transparent for tenants and provides assurance to landlords that they will be able to claim for any losses,” adds Harriott.
Jon Notley, chief executive of Zero Deposit, adds: “To have TDS with us as a launch partner is an incredibly important development.”
“With a company as trusted and respected as TDS providing our adjudication services, tenants, landlords and agents using our new product can be assured that any end of tenancy disputes can be dealt with professionally and fairly.”
Zero Deposit has been backed by insurance firm Munich Re, entered a long-term promotional partnership with Zoopla and received investment from former Countrywide chief executive and chairman Grenville Turner.
Back in June, one of TDS' competitors - mydepostis - published a 14-page document which included a strong critique of deposit alternatives.