An online-only student lettings agency that The Negotiator revealed was preparing to launch has now gone live, although with a new twist to its business model.
SPCE, which has an inventory of 50,000 student rooms across the UK and partnerships with six universities plus institutional property investment firm Hines, says it is to also offer students the opportunity to improve their credit scores via credit agency Experian.
Other unusual features of its service include enabling landlords and tenants to rate each other and the use of single tenancies rather than joint agreements.
SPCE, which enables student to find and sign contracts for properties, set up rental guarantors and talk to their landlord all through a single app (pictured, right), is burning through the £280,000 it received from funding platform Seedrs earlier this year. It also about to launch an online service and dashboard for landlords.
“Not only are we going to make it easy for students to find desirable properties and for landlords to locate new tenants, but we are also going to make communication between both parties throughout the tenancy absolutely effortless,” says CEO Leon Ifayemi (pictured, left).
“By enabling students and landlords to receive ratings we are also encouraging greater respect from all involved and promoting a more transparent system.
“Throw in the ability for students to build a credit rating and the fact that parent guarantors are kept in the loop, and we’re confident that SPCE is going to drag student lettings into the modern day.”
SPCE joins a growing army of property websites offering tenants the ability to build their credit scores including Experian’s The Rental Exchange and CreditLadder.co.uk.
These operate in a sector that was thrust into the limelight recently when MPs debated rental payment being added to tenants’ credit scores in Parliament.
“’Any system that helps tenants improve their credit score is a positive,” says CreditLadder CEO Sheraz Dar.
“We have already handled over £12m in rent for thousands of tenants all of which will contribute to improved Experian credit scores, work with over 600 agents and look forward to working with many more.”