UK start-up InsureStreet helps solve cash deposit crisis with trust-based property rental solution

InsureStreet Property

Urban Spaces is delighted to announce that we are partnering with InsureStreet, a UK start-up which aims to pioneer a rental community built on mutual trust and respect.

InsureStreet, which is backed by HISCOX, presents ‘Generation Rent’ with an easy and affordable alternative to the often crippling upfront cash deposits required by landlords.

InsureStreet comes at a time when rent rises across the UK have far outpaced wage increases over the past five years – and at a time when more misery is predicted for renters with further steep rises expected over the next few years, particularly in London. However, with a shortage of affordable housing, more and more people have no choice but to rent.

How InsureStreet works:

  • Typically, renters are charged a minimum of six weeks’ rent as a security deposit, plus agency fees and a month’s rent in advance.
  • InsureStreet provides renters with a digital RentPassport™ that validates their profile. The following checks are included:
    • Identity, credit check, right-to-rent, identity, pep & sanctions, date of birth, legal and regulatory warnings, mortality and registered addresses.
  • The RentPassportTM, is absolutely free for Tenants, Landlords and Agents.
  • Instead of paying a traditional cash deposit, renters make a one-off payment for an insurance policy that covers them for the duration of the rental contract. In most cases, that one-off insurance payment is less than a tenth of what you would pay for a traditional cash deposit.
  • If the Renter pays rent on-time, looks after Landlord’s property, has good ratings from the Agent (managed property) or Landlord, then renter will benefit from lower insurance premium on a range of insurance products and find better properties.
  • For landlords, the fear of unknown renters forces them to take cash deposits to cover any losses. InsureStreet replaces that fear with a trusted renter profile and an insurance policy, backed by HISCOX. The policy covers landlords for all the risks which a typical cash deposit would.
  • InsureStreet has also partnered exclusively with Experian to offer renters the option to choose to pay their rent on the app and help improve their credit score.

With nearly two out of five UK households renting their home and home ownership at its lowest level for a quarter of century, this new data-driven approach also has the potential to channel £4bn of dead capital back into the UK economy, as well as free up often badly needed cash for renters. According to the latest figures around the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, right now more than £4bn is tied up in rental deposits schemes, and £1.25bn of that is in London alone.

Tahir Farooqui, founder and CEO of InsureStreet, says: “We believe change comes from within, especially in an industry that has been blighted with mistrust. Our goal is to make it easier for good tenants to find nice places to live – especially in large cities where rent is inflated beyond their means.

And for landlords, because they have access to trusted renter profiles, it takes away the fear and mistrust out of rental transactions,” he adds. “What we are offering is not only a convenient app to set up and access our RentPassport™ service, but also a ‘Rental Hub’ to connect tenants, landlords and agents with each other and relevant services to improve their overall rental experience. The hub is both intuitive and transparent, ensuring open communication channels, so together the industry can evolve products and services that make a positive difference on the communities it serves.

We will continue to develop a range of on-demand insurance-based services targeted at ‘generation rent’, and as we grow, a percentage of our profits will go to the homeless.” Benefits to Landlords

  • Rental Yield – Opportunity to improve rental yield
  • Know-your-tenant – Rich insight into the type of Renters moving into your property
  • Enhanced protection – In addition to 6-8 week protection through deposit insurance, InsureStreet will also add Rent Guarantee and legal protection which will therefore cover any risk for up to 7 months.

Next Steps
Urban Spaces prides itself in being at the forefront of innovation. We would like to offer this service to our Landlords and Renters, as an option. If you are interested in participating, please do let your account manager know or email us. We can also put you in direct contact with InsureStreet if you require further information as regards insurance offering.