Liverpool-based start-up RentalStep has been awarded £350,000 by Her Majesty’s Treasury to help renters boost their credit scores, access credit and get on the housing ladder.
The company will be using the funding to further develop its online platform, which connects tenants and landlords, helping them to communicate with each other, save money and for tenants, boost their credit score.
The Treasury has awarded the funding as part of the Rent Recognition Challenge, which was announced by the Government during last year’s Autumn Budget. The challenge tasked entrepreneurs to create a simple way for renters to record and share their rent payment data and improve their credit score, which would increase their likelihood of being accepted for a mortgage should they take their first step on the housing ladder.
After six entrepreneurs originally competed to win a slice of the £2 million prize fund, three companies have been successful, with RentalStep being the only winner based outside of London. The winners were chosen by an expert panel of judges, which was made up of business leaders industry professionals including Paul Smee, director of mortgages at UK Finance and Eileen Burbidge, the Treasury’s FinTech envoy.
RentalStep will be also be using some of the funding to expand the company’s development team, as well as add new features, which will make the platform even more essential for both landlords and tenants.
Mike Georgeson, founder and CEO of RentalStep, said:
“For RentalStep to be named one of the winners of the Government’s Rent Recognition Challenge is something I am incredibly proud of. We have developed the platform to help the millions of renters out there who are dreaming of one day owning their own home, as well landlords who yearn for a hassle-free renting experience.
“RentalStep is the perfect antidote to an old fashioned and over-complicated renting market and uses technology to make things easier for both tenants and landlords. As well as improving credit scores, we also have a communications system and offer free referencing, free credit checks and free tenancy agreements. With RentalStep, gone are the days of extortionate letting agent fees and unnecessary reference applications.”
John Glen, economic secretary to the treasury, said:
“Monthly rent is often the biggest expense that people face. Yet most lenders are unable to take it into account when working up a credit score. This pioneering start-up has found a solution, and we’re giving them the investment and support they need to help millions of renters across the country achieve their dream of owning a home.”
Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance and one of the challenge’s judges, said:
“We are delighted to support the Rent Recognition Challenge and address this important issue of helping renters as they look to establish a credit history, helping their journey towards securing a mortgage in the future. The Fintech sector has proven it can provide credible, innovative solutions and we are delighted that government has recognised that Fintech companies have a significant role to play in this market.”