Hundreds of letting agents and landlords are said to have signed up to a new site which, from this spring, will review tenants and could potentially help agents ‘reference’ prospective renters ahead of the ban on letting agent fees.
Movem last year crowdfunded £200,000 to launch the new service, designed to help agents and landlords avoid letting properties to bad tenants.
The new service, launching in April and based in Brighton, will allow agents and landlords all over the UK to recommend tenants and help build a tenant’s ‘rental passport’.
Agents and landlords will also be able to view a prospective tenant’s passport, including references, payment history and other personal information.
Tenants will be able to build their own online rental passports, with full control over their own privacy.
Nobody will be able to buy access to these tenants’ passports, and there will be no public directory of tenants.
Instead, the tenant must grant a particular Movem user access to view it through the website. Tenants can revoke this access at any time.
Movem has been founded by Peter Ramsey, whose previous product, a student housing review site, is now being used in every university in the UK and is publicly endorsed by 25 student unions.
Ramsey said: “We believe we are about to launch a real alternative to traditional listing websites, which have been providing the same form of anonymous leads for decades.”
The launch comes ahead of the ban on letting agent fees, which as things stand will stop agents from being able to charge prospective tenants for referencing – although it is not clear how the new service will monetise itself.
The idea of a ‘tenant passport’ has already been mooted as one potential innovation in the industry, although it has been widely suggested that this should only be valid for six months to a year.
The existing student offering, which also allows tenants to review their landlord and/or agent, can be found here