Industry Interview: RentalStep

1) Do you see the private rented sector expanding in the next five years?

I think the PRS is overheating at the moment and there is potentially a ‘perfect storm’ brewing where more tenants will be trying to access fewer properties thus forcing up rents and allowing even fewer tenants to save for their first home. I’m really hoping that the PRS begins to stabilise in the next five years as mortgage providers start to offer higher LTV loans to first time buyers.

2) Are longer tenancies a good idea?

In theory, absolutely, in practice, maybe. As a landlord I am more than happy to rent my properties to great tenants for as long as they wish to rent but we need to be aware that not all tenants are so good, so there needs to be a quick and effective way to end a tenancy, if it can be proven that the tenant has broken their tenancy agreement.

3) How are tenant demands changing?

Tenants are now demanding a quicker, more effective and less costly property move experience. RentalStep was developed to address these requirements. Tenants are also, in general, demanding better quality homes which can only be good for everyone in the PRS.

4) How can communication between landlords and tenants be improved?

Communication is key. We have developed the first tenant and landlord communication system where all messages between both parties are stored securely and are fully auditable if needed. The system also includes an Issue Management System where tenants can log issues even if their landlord is not on RentalStep.

5) What is the biggest headache for the lettings industry?

A shift in perceptions. Tenants quite rightly want to be more in control of their renting experience but many have negative perceptions of letting agents. We all demand services to be quicker, more streamlined and less expensive now and the letting industry needs to adapt and be a lot more agile.

This, combined with decreased income, will lead to consolidation amongst some agents. An increase in the use of technical solutions combined with honest information will inevitably lead to a shift in more rental activities being made online.

Mike Georgeson, founder of RentalStep