Tech Pitch: Asktenants
Fed up with the state of the rental market, budding property entrepreneurs Payal and Vijay Bhavnani have launched a 'TripAdvisor for rentals'
Company name: Asktenants Limited.
Founders: Payal Bhavnani and Vijay Bhavnani
Background: Payal is part time accountant while Vijay works full time as a finance manager at Amazon and has a supporting role helping Payal.
Based in: London
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
Asktenants allows tenants to rate and review their rental property just like travelers review hotels on TripAdvisor and enables landlords and agents to respond to reviews. It also allows:
- Tenants and potential property buyers to check catchment areas for school admission, check parents opinions about schools, league tables and key statistics like diversity of the school, and percentage of students on free school meals. Schools is key factor for tenants renting a property and information we provide is both comprehensive and unique.
- Allows tenants and potential property buyers to check crime in the area by street.
- Allows tenants and potential property buyers to look for social, demographic and cultural mix of the area.
It also includes useful blogs covering all areas that tenants want to know.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
Nine million tenants in the UK are making renting decisions with no information about the property or landlord. 60% of them end up having problems with rental property or landlord.
Unlike the USA where there are developed websites liked apartmentratings.com, there was no such website in the UK for tenants to review their rental property or landlord. My website solves this problem by providing them this platform.
The website is disruptive in real estate (estate agents/landlords) in a similar fashion of how TripAdvisor is disruptive in travel industry (travel agents). Landlords and agents can no longer paint over and hide issues with the property.
Are you funded?
We have had £30,000 from an investor and the business can run for about six to seven months with that money with limited marketing, hence we are looking for more funding.
What were you doing before starting?
Payal: We developed this website after a rental nightmare – myself, Vijay and our young daughter were forced to move out of our rented property in Eash Sheen due to damp and insects.
We clearly felt a need for a website like Asktenants after our experience!