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flatfair launches Resolve service for rent payments in arrears

Payment technology company flatfair has launched an online portal called Resolve, which is designed to help landlords and tenants agree a payment plan for rent arrears accrued due to COVID-19.

Resolve helps landlords obtain proof of hardship, provide date stamped correspondence, and help them to agree on a clear plan which the tenant has to stick to.

Any landlord, not just those who use flatfair’s deposit alternative product, can sign up for Resolve free of charge.

Franz Doerr, founder and chief executive of flatfair, said: “As the disruption caused by Covid-19 started to mount across the rental sector, we knew we had to build something that would help landlords not get left behind.

“I’m delighted that we are able to launch less than two months after we started, which is a credit to the entire flatfair team’s hard work.

“This is a very uncertain time for landlords, most of whom work extremely hard to provide a good home to their tenants, and now see their livelihood put at risk.

“Resolve will give landlords certainty that they can simply arrange a rental payment plan online with their tenants and electronically sign a legally binding agreement with everything clearly documented.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said landlords are expected to mediate fairly with their tenants before any kind of eviction proceedings can move forward post-coronavirus.

Any landlord seeking to retake possession of their property will have to have a watertight case.

According to flatfair tenants will be more likely to pay when shown a path out of their arrears that is fair and transparent, and landlords and agencies that work fairly with their partners will be better viewed once the crisis is over.

A landlord who has or expects properties to fall into rent arrears can request their tenant upload proof of financial distress, such as a redundancy letter, onto Resolve.

The landlord can then review these documents before proposing a payment plan over the portal which the tenant can accept or reject. Once the payment plan is agreed, both parties sign the plan electronically on the platform.

Tenants can also flag to their landlord that they are in financial distress by using the platform; however, only landlords can propose rental payment plans.

By recording and documenting everything online for the landlord and tenant regarding the reaching of an agreement for a payment plan, Resolve will give both landlords and tenants a centralised and independent record of their agreement.

Flatfair also plans to support landlords in recovering any outstanding rent as part of Resolve’s premium offering, which is due to be rolled out soon.