The founder of a rental passport system has announced plans to abolish all tenancy referencing costs, which are currently charged to landlords and agents.
He has also attacked the property portals for failing to do what he called the right thing for renters by putting profits first.
Tahir Farooqui, CEO of Canopy whose other products include a tenancy deposit replacement, said: “We are committed to improving rental health not only for renters but also for agents and landlords.
“Eliminating rental screening costs is a first step towards that goal.”
Farooqui said: “In 2017, we shared our free RentPassport with leading online real estate portal and property websites – they turned down the opportunity to work with us.
“The reason they gave was very simple: ‘It does not fit our revenue models.’
“These companies had an opportunity to do what is right for renters.
“That refusal fuelled my vision of building a rental ecosystem that will help millions of renters to achieve better rental and financial health.
“Our goal is to look past pure profit maximisation and consider the bigger picture of building a better and more inclusive rental society.
“Our invitation to all these real estate portals, as well as estate and letting agents, remains open.”
Canopy has this week released an updated rent passport which it says allows agents and landlords to know immediately if a tenant is suitable for a property.
While the standard passport is free, Canopy also offers employment and previous landlord references if required, charging £3 plus VAT for these.
Canopy says that this is already far cheaper that other firms’ charges, but that these costs will be eliminated.
Farooqui said: “By 2021 we hope to eliminate tenant screening costs and deposit handling costs via our suite of sophisticated products.
“We aim to improve rental yields for landlords, and work with letting agents to grow top-line revenue by offering best-in-class financial wellness products and services.”