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Government extends support to stop business evictions in 2020

17 September 2020

Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, announced yesterday, 16 September, that all commercial tenants will be protected from the risk of eviction until the end of this year. Read More...

Evictions post 20 September 2020

17 September 2020

The UK Government has published an updated form relating to property possession claims brought before 3 August 2020 that must be reactivated. These relate to claims already received by the court. Read More...

Mayor of London calls for a two-year freeze on private rents

16 September 2020

Today, 16 September, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, calling the Government to give him the powers to freeze private rents as the economic fallout from COVID-19 continues. Read More...

The age of digital deposit management for student lets

Thursday 03 September 2020

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), a Propertymark Industry Supplier, discuss the topic of agents being forced into accelerating and embracing digital processes over recent months and how they believe it isn’t necessarily a bad thing – especially regarding student lets.

Whilst no-one is completely sure of how the student lets market will unfurl, for the foreseeable future there is movement and digital tools are enabling that action.

Virtual viewings have quickly become the norm, which is especially useful for overseas students and students planning on sharing accommodation. With social distancing measures still in place in varying degrees (dependent on location), virtual viewings have saved the day – and a great deal of time.

Digital tenancy deposit management is no different.

The government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) was already an advocate of online deposit tools, but recent events have taken that even further and agents are now taking full advantage of the time and cost benefits that come from technology investment.

How can digital tenancy deposit management help with student lets?

With a secure, accessible tenancy deposit management dashboard like the one provided in the TDS Custodial Scheme, agents can use a variety of online features to communicate with students, manage the deposit protection process, update details and view cases or conversations.

This saves hours in administration time by helping parties instantly engage, encouraging communications to aid the negotiation process, and help resolve deposit disputes.

Five ways digital deposit management saves time for agents

1) Instant tenant changeover – This doesn’t need to be a lengthy admin process. If a student is moving out during tenancy or you need to amend the deposit without paying the entire deposit back, this can be done instantly online within the digital dashboard. You and your tenants can also update contact details instantly too, which can help you to keep in touch with students out of term time.

2) Split repayments between tenants – You can engage directly with the tenants through the online portal (and so can TDS) to quickly arrange split-repayments automatically. Another useful feature for students in shared accommodation.

3) Online dispute management – As an agent, you may not realise that you can raise a dispute online (not just the student tenant) and streamline that process further by uploading evidence for the independent adjudicators to view. This also allows you to view dispute progress instantly, as a case is dealt with. You don’t need to chase up emails or wait on the phone, just log-in to see what’s happening.

4) Keep track of communications digitally – With multiple students in one property or students overseas, it helps to keep a record of conversations in one place. This has never been more important, at a time when some students are unable to move or pay as they normally would due to Covid-19. Any agreements you make with your tenants must be trackable and visible to all parties. This will help your case if a dispute arises or you need to pursue further action regarding rent arrears or eviction. It can also help to clarify points to multiple students or those who don’t have English as their first language.

5) Digital compliance – Tenancy legislation is continuously changing, and you cannot risk falling foul of compliance issues. Wading through heavy legislative wording or peer conversations in forums can be confusing and immensely time-consuming. It makes more sense to use TDS’ downloadable templates and pre-populated forms (prescribed information) as well as instant calculators like TDS’ online Deposit Cap calculator. All of these meet current legal requirements and keep you compliant with confidence.

To find out more about digital tenancy deposit management, visit the Tenancy Deposit Scheme website.