Following an unsettling year of chaos and the extension of the stamp duty holiday, it’s been a changeable 12 months in the property market to ... Read Feature
The leading agent’s new Goodlord insurance policy eases the pain of pandemic property letting
A July 2020 poll carried out by housing charity Shelter and conducted via YouGov canvased more than 1,000 of England’s 4.5 million private renters. Responses suggest that 442,403 found themselves with rent arrears by early June. That’s despite just over half being up to date with rent payments as recently as March – before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Things only look set to get worse for many tenants when the government’s furlough scheme draws to a close at the end of August.
Portico CEO Robert Nichols explains how the current pandemic influenced a decision to offer the new service:“Landlords and tenants have faced uncertain and unpredictable circumstances in recent months, from adjustments to notice periods as a result of the Coronavirus Act 2020, to the recently extended stay on possession proceedings. I believe that responsible agents should be planning for a second spike in the COVID-19 infection rate. Part of that responsibility means taking prompt and decisive steps to protect our landlord clients.”
Portico shortlisted several alternative insurance suppliers, but felt Goodlord’s insurance service was best suited to provide a contextual response to market conditions, given the widespread effects of the pandemic on the country’s renters.
Nichols went on to comment, “Portico is all about producing successful tenancies for both landlords and tenants. Given recent guidance for seeking rent deferral arrangements, we were delighted to discover that Goodlord’s policy is one based on negotiation.”
Portico landlords who have opted for the agent’s premium introduction only service (Essential Plus), or their premium Management service (Concierge) will now benefit from rent paid in full should the tenant fall into arrears. That applies for up to 12 months, or until vacant possession – whichever occurs first. Portico landlords will pay zero excess under their policy. Portico landlords will then receive 75% of the previous monthly rent paid following vacant possession for up to two months.
The agency’s new Goodlord insurance policy also includes legal expenses cover of up to £100,000, plus protection against any breach of a tenancy agreement.
Landlords who choose a basic let only service from Portico can also opt to add the protection to their package for just £250+VAT.
“We’re delighted to partner with Portico to support it in enhancing its Rent Protection service” says Oli Sherlock, Head of Insurance at Goodlord. “After extensively evaluating other providers in the market, we’re honoured that Portico chose to partner with Goodlord to protect its landlords during these uncertain times. It’s a testament to our robust claims process, policy benefits, and our hard work to ensure a continuous product when our customers need us most.”
Portico’s new rent protection service comes on the back of its recently launched online letting service for private landlords, Portico Direct. The comprehensive online service is aimed at landlords who need a cost-effective solution to let a property or who don’t want to use a letting agent. Through Portico Direct, landlords get access to advertising on Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket for just £1.
Portico connects tenants with private landlords digitally via the new platform, with landlords taking over the viewings process, either virtually or in person. Portico Direct offers a complete suite of low-cost, online services for landlords, from a customisable tenancy agreement template which can be signed digitally for £20, to rent collection, tenant deposit registration, tenant referencing and credit checks.