Student accommodation specialist Unite is launching a new service, called Conker, which aims to replace deposits with insurance schemes for students renting in HMOs.
A pilot is to be conducted in Bristol; the system aims to play to the concerns of students, suggesting that with 660,000 students living in student-only HMOs across the UK, research by Unite indicates that 40 per cent lose their deposits on check-out.
Unite says Conker “offers trust and transparency to both [students and landlords, and] the platform hosts many features including rent and damage cover, combined property management, digital inventory and contracts, a 24/7 mayday function for issues and repairs, as well as independent dispute resolution.”
The scheme gives each tenant automatic cover for property damage for up to six months. Both tenants and landlords are, as Unite puts it, “validated” prior to inclusion in the scheme.
There will be no agency fees and no upfront deposit; instead there will be monthly insurance cover.