A new online service backed by newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror says it wants to enable tenants to bypass lettings agents.
HomeRenter offers what it describes as an Airbnb-style online marketplace which encourages landlords and tenants to communicate directly and agree rent and duration of tenancy.
The site wants landlords to join it for an annual listing fee of £99.99 - a launch deal of £49.99 has also been offered.
The fee includes tenant referencing, 24-hour telephone support, keyholding and an outsourced viewing/keyholding service, but additional charges are made for marketing such as photography and floor plans, as well as gas safety certificates, EPCs and a To Let Board.
HomeRenter is in talks with institutions to augment the funding from Trinity Mirror; the site is also quoted as saying it will seek new investment early next year.
The site's mission statement is as follows:
"At HomeRenter we believe the traditional lettings model is broken and unfair to tenants and landlords alike. We believe tenants are sick and tired of property searches that feel like wild goose chases and culminate in rip-off ‘admin’ fees.
"We believe landlords are getting poor value and service from existing agents, not to mention a tough ride from the press and Government. What’s more, contrary to received opinion, we believe the rental market works best when you remove the middleman and allow property owners and renters to connect via a managed community and operate in harmony.
"The vision, therefore, behind HomeRenter is to create an AirBnB-style marketplace for private rentals in the UK that delivers superior value to both landlords and tenants whilst putting right several of the imperfections of the current category."
You can see the site here.