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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Deposit alternative supplier signs another 31 agency branches

One of the major deposit alternative operators has announced 31 new letting agency branches have signed up, from three high-profile brands.

Zero Deposit says Carter Jonas and the London agencies Marsh & Parsons and James Pendleton have chosen its product to offer to renters. 

This takes its total number of partner offices to over 2,640 nationwide.

“2020 is proving to be another year of growth for Zero Deposit as we work hard to ensure that all agencies in the UK know that there is a credible alternative to deposits for their landlords which offers more protection” explains Jon Notley, chief executive at Zero Deposit.

“We’re delighted to welcome these new brands on board and expect to share news of similarly impressive additions in the coming months. The importance of an FCA-authorised option that protects tenants, landlords and ultimately agents has come to the fore with recent press coverage” he adds.

Zero Deposits was one of a string of deposit alternative companies seeking to distance itself from recent criticisms raised in a BBC investigation, which suggested some letting agents may be mis-selling deposit alternative schemes to tenants who - unwittingly - are then hit by what the probe says are hidden costs which were not explained to them at the outset.

The BBC story featured a case study of a tenant who claimed not to have understood the terms of the deposit alternative he used, and was then surprised to have to pay a monthly ongoing fee for the service.

It also quoted The Property Ombudsman, Katrina Sporle, explaining that one of her cases has involved a tenant who was forced to pay an administration fee to switch to a traditional deposit - even though they said they had not understood the terms of the deposit-free option. Others were told they had to use a deposit-free scheme to rent with an agency.

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