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Deposits remain a huge topic of conversation as agents and landlords seek to minimise costs, reduce time spent on managing issues and avoid the need to go to dispute.

Disputes by their very nature can be complex, extremely time consuming and a drain on staff resources. Without expert eyes on the ball important milestones can be missed, mistakes made leaving landlords exposed, tenants unduly disadvantaged and parties left wondering why deductions have or have not been made to the deposit.

Easing the Headache of Deposit Management

InventoryBase is excited to be working alongside The Depositary to solve these issues. By introducing a much needed change to the management of deposits this innovative, yet simple service will help streamline the  progression of reports and documentation simplifying the end of tenancy process.

So what is this new service?

The new integration provides InventoryBase users with a straightforward and effective solution that allows agents and landlords to upload inventory and check out reports directly from the users account into the The Depositary. The tenancy documentation is then automatically tracked, check out appointments booked, evidence collated and disputes managed with the expert guidance and services of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).

Easing the Headache of Deposit Management

Built with an agents hat on; Kristjan Byfield has set about solving the problem of agents having to spend 2-3 hours taking the tenancy from notice to refund to dispute. This figure increases if the dispute is complex.

InventoryBase helps support The Depositary with our unique integration that is already reducing the time spent processing the documentation to just 15 mins per tenancy.

To put this into context; an agency with an average portfolio of 120 properties could realise a massive saving of up to 200 work hours by utilizing the option. These hours could then be fed back into the agency and used more effectively to develop services, convert and support landlords and manage tenants.

Easing the Headache of Deposit Management

Recent data from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme shows that there has been an increase in deposits being lodged up from 3.9m to over 4.1m deposits held in 2019-20.

Despite the rise, there has been a small but notable decrease in disputes handled by TDS in the year down to 34,993 in 2019-20 compared to 35,513 in the previous year. 

Cleaning remains the most common reason for disputes closely followed by damage and redecoration claims.

With statistics showing an increase in the number of households living in the private rented sector there remains a real need to ensure that the tenancy and disputes are robustly managed so that dispute figures continue to remain low.

Key benefits of the integration::

  • Automatic uploads of reports and data between platforms 
  • Link any and all branches 
  • Date and timed photographs seamlessly uploaded 
  • Meter readings and photos attached and ready to view 
  • Easy submission of the proposal and negotiation of deductions
  • Advanced actions feature to allocate costs to issues or damages 
  • Quick allocation of funds – all in keeping with the government framework and legislation of deposits & tenancies

Key benefits to the user: 

  • Time savings for agents and landlords 
  • Transparency for tenants 
  • Streamlined process 
  • Clear steps and processes 
  • Easy to use and access 
  • Adds value 
  • Delivers a simple, intelligent, responsive, connected service

Next steps? 

Constantly striving to simplify the tenancy process, both Steve Rad; Managing Director of InventoryBase and Kristjan Byfield, Co-Founder at base property specialists & The Depositary are in agreement when it comes to pushing the envelope and developing processes that give greater flexibility and options to the property industry. 

When asked ‘What else can you do to make the lives of tenants, landlords and agents easier?’ 

Steve Rad says;

Between InventoryBase and The Depositary we’re now providing a more complete Check Out experience for agents, suppliers, tenants and landlords, negotiating deposit deductions and providing progress and transparency to all involved without additional administration. 

With the need to streamline services, be more cost efficient and add real value to suppliers and their client base; our integration paves the way for increased volumes of reporting without compromising the integrity of the evidence.

How can we top that?  

With InventoryBase, letting agents can benefit from seamless integration, where as inventory providers can connect each and every one of their property management clients into their InventoryBase to sync with the correct Depositary account. 

Our focus throughout 2020 has been on what we can do to support suppliers so that they in turn can help tenants, landlords and agents in what has been a very difficult 12mths.

We have introduced some great new features that will allow us to: 

  • Deliver improvements to our template builder that supports a whole new array of report types and formats; speeding up the reporting process
  • Our InventoryBase Live app is super simple for tenants to use, connects in a single click, and enables clerks to complete reports remotely via live stream
  • New actions and checklist that will close the loop on issues raised during an inventory or inspection and allow costs and notes for each action raised that feeds directly into The Depositary 

As we have all come to appreciate this year; time is precious so our aim for 2021 is to reduce user admin but increase the effectiveness of the reporting tools. Our integration will remove up to 80% of the ‘end of tenancy’ admin whilst delivering to tenants and landlords a transparent, simple, anytime, anywhere online service. 

Kristjan Byfield says:

When we started building The Depositary we asked ourselves: ‘Is it possible to take 3-4 hours of work (the end of tenancy process and all that entails) and reduce it to just 10 minutes?’. We thought this was a crazy idea – but something to aspire to. With our latest partner integration with InventoryBase, a fellow ICG member, we now think we are approaching a workload of just 15-20 minutes. Looking ahead we will be focusing on 3 areas of partner integrations:

  • CRMs – potentially removing most, if not all, data entry to set up an application and possibly even triggering the process automatically – estimated savings: 3-5 minutes
  • Accounting/Payment solutions – capturing funds allocations from Deposit reconciliations, potentially even automating those payments – estimated savings: 3-5 minutes
  • More choice – we will be looking to plug in more partner integrations enabling agents to choose the service providers they want & like – these will be in the areas of utility management, checkout reports, CRMs and accounting as well as identifying other offerings that deliver value to our agents and enhance the consumer journey

As these estimates show, there is a serious possibility we can achieve our crazy ’10 minute goal’ in 2021! All that while delivering a better experience to tenants and landlords alike. The speed at which we can do this will partly be dictated by the agents we serve and represent – the more agents that join us, the more we can do, faster. It’s very very exciting and working with InventoryBase on this integration partnership has been an absolute joy.

Visit InventoryBase for more information about our integrations and other services.

Easing the Headache of Deposit Management