A homelessness charity in Scotland has launched a smartphone app that aims at ending deposit disputes between tenants and landlords.
Report from Inside Housing
Shelter Scotland’s ‘Housemate’ app has been launched to coincide with the start of Scotland’s tenancy deposit scheme, which came in over the summer and allows landlords to hand over deposits to independent third parties. Landlords will have to put deposits into one of three rent deposit schemes by law from November.
The app creates a full digital record of a property’s full contents and their condition.
Developed with property services group Orchard & Shipman, the app has been designed to be as comprehensive as possible, thereby reducing the potential for disputes over inventories at the end of a tenancy.
‘Too many tenants have all or part of their deposit withheld unfairly and their chances of arguing successfully for its return are often compromised by a lack of evidence,’
said Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland.
‘With Housemate, both tenant and landlord will have the proof they need. Not only does it create a full record of what a property contains and the condition it’s in, it also includes photographic evidence. The resulting inventory can then be shared via email. It’s simple but highly effective.’
‘We hope that for users of Housemate, arguments over deposits will become a thing of the past and landlords and tenants alike can enjoy a positive, mutually-beneficial relationship.’
Although designed with Scotland’s private rented sector in mind, the app could be used to create an itinerary of any property.
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