A Heriot-Watt Information Systems student has used his expertise to launch a new website that could let landlords and tenants live happily ever after.
Twenty one year old Alex Harriss, in his fourth year of study at the University's Edinburgh Campus, has developed a website that aims to give private landlords the opportunity to list their properties without using a letting agency, and undertook the work as part of his dissertation.
RentHappy was designed to offer direct contact and total transparency between landlord and tenant with the aim of simplifying and speeding up the rental process while potentially reducing costs and increasing confidence for both parties.
Research from the Citizens' Advice Bureau shows that over half of tenants expressed dissatisfaction with their letting agents due to of high fees, inaction and lack of communication. Alex's response was based on personal experience
"Last year, a group of my friends had a terrible experience with a letting agent. At the same time, I was renting directly from a landlord who went above and beyond. I thought why can't it always be this way?
“I think that RentHappy is a win-win for landlords and for renters: both can save hundreds in letting agent fees, and renters can be confident that they are getting a good property from a good landlord.”
Tessa Berg, Alex's dissertation supervisor, said, “Alex has taken a soft system approach to his data analysis and design and therefore his website project is a fine example of an Information Systems dissertation.”
Alex intends to monitor the site's progress and conduct regular surveys in order to ensure the website best reflects landlord and tenant needs. Property reviews and a new landlord verification function are already in the pipeline.