Edinburgh estate agent Rettie & Co has partnered with property rental market app Canopy to trial RentPassport and DepositFree insurance.
Paying via Canopy’s free-to-use RentPassport, which is backed by Experian, will be an option for tenants at the recently launched Harbour Gateway mid-market Build-to-Rent development in Edinburgh. This enables renters to build a credit score and renter profile that accurately reflects their history as a tenant. The RentPassport also reduces the back-office costs historically associated with the screening of prospective tenants and reduces the risk of rental arrears.
Rettie & Co residents at Harbour Gateway will also be given the choice to move into properties without paying an initial security deposit, which is typically equivalent to 4 weeks’ rent. Instead, renters can choose Canopy’s DepositFree insurance product, backed by HISCOX.
DepositFree is a one-off policy premium paid by the renter that covers both parties for up to 3 years, and provides landlords and renters with the same protection as a traditional cash deposit. The cost to the renter is calculated on an individual basis when they are ‘profiled’ through the Canopy Rent Passport. Typically, the average cost is between 10% and 12% of the value of the deposit. For tenancies longer than 3 years, a renewal premium would be payable.
Canopy does not charge agents to use the platform.
Matthew Benson, Rettie & Co director and head of development services, said: “Scotland, like the rest of the UK, is facing a chronic shortage of housing. In its current state, the private rental sector fails to meet the needs of the nation’s renters. Canopy’s initiatives offer a lasting solution to the issues currently facing Scottish renters.”
Jon Pitt, CCO of Canopy, added: “Securing a rental property can be very challenging for many prospective tenants, especially when they are waiting for their previous deposit to be returned at the same time as trying to secure and pay for a new property. This trial will help people rent their dream home by taking out DepositFree insurance and using Canopy to track their rent to help improve their Experian credit score.”
Canopy was founded in 2016 by Tahir Farooqui, after he saw how his younger brother struggled to find the large sum cash deposit typically required by landlords. The company’s mission is to solve the growing deposit crisis for ‘generation rent’.
The company secured initial funding from angel investors including serial entrepreneur Vin Murria, and has raised a further £1.6m from investors including Direct Line Group.