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24-year-old launches lettings platform to fix ‘toxic’ rental market

A lettings platform set up by a 24 year old is today announcing an expansion from its Bristol start up to seven other cities - and claims it’s going to fix the ‘toxic’ rental market for young people.

HYBR started in the west country city of Bristol, linking students there with landlords via ‘house-matcher’ events and help for prospective tenants with contracts, guarantors and legal support.

It’s the brainchild of Hannah Chappatte, a Bristol university graduate, whose company now employs 10 people and is fundraising £500,000.


“Students should be excited about moving out and being independent for the first time. Instead they waste valuable time that could be spent studying or having fun locked in battles with landlords and lettings agencies, or trawling through disappointing properties” says Chappatte.

“Every year this cycle repeats – it doesn’t work for anyone and has created a toxic market where students don’t trust landlords and landlords don’t trust students.”

HYBR is now expanding into cLondon, Cardiff, Exeter, Lincoln, Liverpool, Lancaster and Sheffield and claims over 1,000 students have already found homes through it.

It plans further expansion next year into Manchester, Nottingham, Bath and Leeds.


Chappatte continues: “We have just brought in a senior team to take the business to the next level. We are looking to raise £500,000 through angel investors and venture funds,” Hannah said. But this isn’t just a UK problem and we want to start looking abroad as soon as possible. 

“Ultimately, this is about fixing a broken a market. I want to question every part of the rental system and the status quo to see if there’s a solution out there. Every part of the market is geared against underprivileged students who don’t have guarantors – we also want to help them.”

Up until now HYBR has funded itself from its own revenue and winning competitions - it recently won a year’s free rent in offices near Liverpool Street in London.

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    What a novel idea. Matching Students with Landlords. So much easier attending an event where too many Students all want he same house when they "could be having fun"

    Should go well with no listings yet on their website for 2022 and 115 rooms for 2021.

    Looking at their website, they look like a normal student lettings agency that has an extensive menu of charges.

    If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck......

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    Exactly right. Its a super student friendly "letting agent" that puts landlords and tenants together. I dont really see whats new about that. They offer full management at 6% and will undercut any competitors fees (yawn) and will tailor make a package just for you. All sounds very familiar- I guess its just the word "platform" that sets it apart? I worked in student lettings on the South Coast for decades and this toxicity referred to is nonsense. Its just a let that is much harder work from both sides!

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    I'm struggling to see anything 'new' about this "brainchild". Good luck to the Angel investors - into the casino you go....remember who always wins.

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    Students need a place to go to other than those archaic letting agents that put landlords on a pedestal, HYBR is offering to keep things fair and transparent, something that a traditional letting agency can't possibly do


    It is not that Agents put Landlords on a. pedestal. It's how the Law of Agency works. In short, an agent can't serve two masters. As Landlords provide the revenue source and tenants do not, it would seem to make sense to be landlord centric.
    Thats not to say Agents are not fair to tenants, and you might be surprised how many times Agents have to remind Landlords of their obligations.
    Never had an issue when I worked in Student lets in Bristol ; far from it. Like Matthew above, never experienced any toxicity.
    Your argument might hold more water had you declared you work(ed) as a developer for HYBR!


    No, it's just BS to buy column inches and good PR which in turn will attract investment from those either gullible or seekng of virtue. Standard stuff.

  • Matthew Payne

    Lots of readers on these sites rightly ask, why is this news? Isn't this just a bit of promotional blurb? Well, a lot of them are exactly that. TODAY dont choose to report on these businesses as "news", most articles are advertorials that they encourage people to send them, see bottom right hand corner "Have a story? Contact our press team" and that's exactly what Hannah has done.

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    On the face of it, it may seem that HYBR is "just another letting agent" but the real impact on the market lies beneath the white paper. Students, for far too long, have been mistreated by traditional lettings agents. If the above commenters did in fact do some digging into the state of the market they would see the underlying issues of the student rental market are both frequent and apparent (unfair treatment, little to no guidance on legal issues and a lack of student support initiatives). A student-focused startup is just what this industry in my opinion.


    Students, for far too long, have annoyed neighbours, left rubbish in their accommodation, trashed properties,caused hundreds if not thousands o pounds of damage.

    See, Tiko, generalisatons are not a good idea. In my professional experience (and I only speak from personal experience) students not only have the process expained to them, but their guarantors are similarly advised. Agents and landlords cannnot give legal advice.

    What "support initiatives" do you expect agents to provide? Landords are the agents' clients and I support Ray Reddington's comments about Bristol. That is not to say that al agents/landlords are perfect. They are not, neither are all students.


    The point that you have failed to grasp is that HYBR have the Landlord as the Client. It is the Landlord that signs the Terms of Business (Hopefully) and pays for the service. Legally it is the best interest of the Landlord that should be paramount at all times.

    I would respectfully suggest that established agents act in this way for sound reason.


    No-one cares or ever will. The landord is the client, their interests will always come first. This is the real world sweetheart... there's no revolution on the horizon.

  • Roger  Mellie

    Why does everything have to be "toxic" these days? Soon to be "misogynistic and racist" too.


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