“I was handsomely protected and delighted with the result”

Andy Mcgarrick Blog Header

Northwood Leicester has partnered with flatfair for a number of years, so Andy McGarrick, Director at Northwood Leicester, is familiar with the benefits of flatfair No Deposit, and decided to offer it on his own rental property. This is Andy’s interesting story on how our market-leading protection and end of tenancy process came to his rescue when he needed it most.

“As all landlords will know, since April 2007 it has been mandatory for any deposit taken by a landlord to be lodged with a deposit protection scheme. And in the Tenant Fees Act that came into force on 1st June 2019 the upper limit on the amount that can be taken is set at five weeks’ rent, for both new and renewed tenancies.

That’s fine if your property is looked after and your tenant pays the rent, as we all hope will be the case. It’s not so fine if your tenant does a runner owing even just one months’ rent – leaving just a week “in the kitty” – and it’s very much not fine at all if said tenant has also left a pretty awful mess in the property that you can only just access by shoving the front door hard to batter a path through the mountain of debt collection agency letters.

Frankly I was thankful the tenant in my case left with only just over two months’ arrears, for which an awful lot of chasing had been occurring in a very short period of time. Remember too that a tenant has to be in arrears for two months before you can commence a Section 8 recovery process. I wasn’t hugely surprised to get his email saying there’s no point in pursuing him as he was now in Germany and full of the woes of the world, crucially including no money to his name. Any landlord who has had the merry prospect of chasing down rent arrears via a Money Claim Online or a Section 8 through the Courts will know it’s a forlorn exercise if the tenant simply has not got the money. You’ll waste a lot of time and money trying to secure justice, i.e. to recover what is rightfully yours, your rent.

So, in normal circumstances you fall back on the deposit (to which the tenant would have no defence in a case like this, so that would be one relief). But five weeks’ rent might not make much of a dent in the overall bill that includes repairs, redecoration, cleaning, and of course re-letting.

I received the five weeks’ rent in full that the scheme [flatfair] offers, although of course the sum I was out from my esteemed tenant was nine and a half weeks’ rent. Then, in addition I got back all my cleaning, redecoration, lock change, and small damage costs, which could have been as much as another five weeks’ rent equivalent, but in fact fell slightly short of that. Altogether, I was paid considerably more than I would have got from the deposit alone, and (absolutely crucial to me) a whole lot less fruitless hassle chasing down the debt. For their sins, flatfair takes on that task and they have considerable resources at their disposal to do so – I think they earn their crust on that score.

From personal and painful previous experience of how a letting can go wrong, I was delighted with the outcome when I used flatfair.”

Andy is just one of the nearly 17,000 landlords who have already benefited from our market-leading protection and efficient end of tenancy process, and you could be next. Get in touch to increase the protection on your property and receive faster end of tenancy pay-outs, or to offer flatfair to your tenants and landlords.

You can read Andy’s full, well balanced experience and evaluation of flatfair for tenants and landlords, here.