A property portal just for female tenants founded in Spain but with plans to launch in the UK has raised £166,000 from investors via a crowdfunding platform.
The oversubscribed cash raise on Crowdcube is for HerRoomies.com, which offers accommodation to women in a range of sectors including house and flat shares, student accommodation, co-living properties and hostels, and is the first portal of its kind.
Its co-founder Chiara Fraser says the platform has been created ‘by women for women’ although landlords do not have to be female to list properties.
The site vets all homes against a checklist before they can be uploaded to the site and also enables tenants to find other like-minded women to share with.
Although its marketing materials do not explicitly say so, Fraser tells LandlordZONE that female safety is one of the concerns that the site addresses.
This includes the suitability of neighbourhoods but also whether properties are on a ground floor or not and the security features each property is equipped such as intercoms or window locks.
HerRoommies acts as a go-between between tenant and landlord but not a fully-fledged letting agency, and hopes to become more than a portal, offering women a single site on which to find all their future rented properties.
It does not handle the AST process but, unusually, holds back the deposit from a landlord until tenants have moved in and approved the property.
“This is to protect the tenant from scammers and was something women had identified as an issue with current rental platforms,” says Fraser.
“Landlords can segment the market and target female tenants and letting agencies can use our platform too.”
HerRoomies is to charge landlords and lettings agents in the UK to use its service, which co-founder Nick Taylor says will be less than its competitor sites.