Prop-tech entrant HomeRenter, www.homerenter.co.uk, has launched a beta version this week and aims to create an AirBnB style marketplace for the UK’s private rental sector.
The site caters to four connected audiences – private landlords, tenants, key-holders and service providers – and optimistically promises a happier rental experience for all parties.
For landlords the site operates as a one-stop-shop to advertise, let and manage rental properties at a fraction of the cost charged by traditional agents. Pricing options for launch comprise a 6 month free trial and an annual listing, sold on a subscription package, at £49.99 discounted from £99.99. For the paid listing option, to assist with finding tenants, landlords get access to a fledgling community of key-holders to facilitate remote or inconvenient viewings, a fixed package of promotion on established portal groups such as Rightmove and ZPG, plus HomeRenter To Let boards and access to an intelligent dashboard via which to vet prospective tenants, e-sign leases and run the admin of their tenancy.
For tenants, as with all user types within the community, the site invites them to create a permanent profile and dashboard from which to manage not only their rental search but wider tenant history, including ratings and reviews. The site charges no admin fees to tenants and allows prospective renters to search for future rentals on the cusp of going live and reserve these properties ahead of the chasing pack.
The HomeRenter sub-community of key-holders are termed “HomeViewers” and the team will be looking to scale this offering nationwide over time. The site will vet all HomeViewer candidates for experience, aptitude, plus proofs of ID and insurance, but then facilitate peer to peer booking between landlords and key-holders.
To deliver trusted property maintenance search into the site HomeRenter has partnered with Central Index, a Web.com company, to make accessible the largest services directory in UK.
HomeRenter is the brainchild of property entrepreneurs, Sean Quinn and Jim Thomas, who already run Q Developments a residentially-led property development company with a twenty year history of delivering development schemes across London and co-founder Will Handley, a private landlord with a career previously in marketing. Via their own rental portfolios, the founders have acquired extensive experience of the lettings industry as professional and private landlords.
Co-founder and CEO Will Handley commented,
“As landlords ourselves we’ve come to the view that landlords get poor value and service from existing agents, not to mention a tough ride from the press and Government. What’s more, contrary to received opinion, we believe the rental market works best when you remove the middleman and allow property owners and renters, once vetted and qualified, to connect together and operate in harmony.
This is why we’ve set ourselves the incredibly exciting aim of creating a fairer, more equitable online marketplace for UK’s private landlords and renters.”
HomeRenter is based in Battersea, South London and incubated within the offices of its primary shareholder, Q Developments.
The national news publisher, Trinity Mirror Plc, is an early stage seed round investor in HomeRenter and the site will enjoy advertising within the group’s portfolio of titles.