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London startup launches new student lettings app

FOUNDER: Leon Ifayemi, 24, CEO of SPCE

A NEW student lettings app launch yesterday (Nov 8) to address critical issues faced by university students and landlords in the rental market.

SPCE, which raised £280,000 on Seedrs earlier this year, makes it quick and easy for university-goers to find a room or entire property to rent, while also improving transparency and communication between a student renter and their landlord.

The London-based startup has partnerships with some of the UK’s leading student accommodation providers as well as Experian and AIESEC.

Experian will be working with SPCE to help students develop a credit rating while at university, placing them in a stronger financial position once they graduate.

AIESEC, the globally renowned international student exchange programme operating in more than 100 countries, has selected SPCE as its chosen partner for overseas students to find a rental property in their new place of study.

SPCE arrives on the market with 50,000 rooms available for rent and 15,000 students pre-registering to download the proptech solution. Moreover, SPCE already has agreements with six major UK universities and has a presence in the country’s leading higher education regions, including: London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Oxford and Cambridge, plus many more.

How does it work?

HOUSE-HUNTING: Whether searching solo or looking as a group, SPCE allows students to easily find and view the right property in the right area through the app

GUARANTORS: It pre-validates students’ guarantors so they can progress from searching to renting in just a few clicks

DEPOSITS: The app does away with deposits; instead there is just a pre-agreed damage fee

SINGLE TENANCY: There is no more joint tenancy liability with SPCE, so students do not have to pay when damage is not their fault

COMMUNICATION: Communication between student and landlord is made easy in the app. Issues and required repairs are also logged, and SPCE can mediate between any disputes

RATING: Each student and landlord is reviewed to help inform both sides for future tenancies

CREDIT: As SPCE is partnered with Experian, every rent payment made on time enhances a students’ credit score SPCE launches amid an exclusive poll that shows the mass frustration currently being experienced by students and landlords.

Based on an independent, nationally-representative survey of more than 2,000 UK adults, the research found:

- 61% of current university students find securing a rental property one of the most stressful parts of their entire uni experience, with 66% citing poor communication from landlords and estate agents as a major issue

- 70% of current uni-goers also complained that rental accommodation for students is often in a poor, run-down condition

Meanwhile, 70% of UK landlords said they would not let their property to a student because they do not trust them to not cause damage

When asked if they would want a system that would provide ratings to tenants and landlords based on previous tenancies, 77% of students and 84% of landlords said they would.

Leon Ifayemi, CEO of SPCE, commented: “Anyone currently at university or who’s graduated in the past will more than likely have their fair share of horror stories about finding, securing and living in rented accommodation.

"And the truth is that many landlords will also have a tale or two to tell about renting properties to students. The launch of SPCE will change all this and I am delighted to unveil it.

“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.

"What’s more, 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.”

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