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Monday Aug 31, 2020

New app can tell if you are a good tenant

Averly, a new app, uses behavioural analysis to help determine a good tenant.

Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on the economy, and maybe on your credit score too. However, losing your job and subsequently missing a few payments on your accounts does not necessarily make you a bad tenant, and shouldn't be the reason your next rental application is turned down.

Averly, a locally created application for rental agents, property owners and tenants alike, uses technology and behavioural analysis to help determine if you're a good tenant. It all starts with completing a simple survey.

Instead of asking psychometric questions like: "Do you feel it's important to pay your rent on time?", Averly asks direct questions such as: "Do you always pay your rent?"

Top neuroscientists and psychologists from across the world helped Averly compile the set of 22 questions. Because the brain reacts in split seconds, the survey can therefore not be manipulated or fooled.

With the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence, prospective tenants receive a so-called app score, that can help landlords and rental agents determine if they'll be a good fit or not.

It's also possible to improve your app score throughout your rental experience with good rental behaviour – paying your rent on time, being a good neighbour and looking after a property.

Thanks to good behaviour, you might be able to negotiate a waiver on your next deposit or you could get a reduction in rent because of financial constraints due to Covid-19.

Your good score also follows you from property to property. The next time you apply for accommodation, you can use your score to negotiate a better deal.

Rooms within properties can also be managed separately. A student staying in a big house won't have his score negatively affected because of a housemate's bad behaviour. Averly can be used to sublet rooms within a single flat or house, providing the same service to tenants who wish to rent out rooms on the property they're already renting themselves.

Getting your score and applying for accommodation is free for tenants, as is using its functionality to report maintenance issues to rental agencies and landlords.

If a tenant is in the process of applying for properties, the app dashboard also provides a bird's-eye view of all their applications to monitor progress. Once you've loaded your verified documents on to the Averly platform, you don't need to upload them again for future applications.

For some tenants getting their deposit back can be a massive hassle. That's why a universal snag list for every property is built into the platform. Before moving in, rental agents or landlords would indicate on the platform what needs to be fixed.

Tenants have access to that list, so there are no nasty surprises after moving in. Throughout the rental period, tenants use the same list to indicate maintenance issues, triggering a notification to the landlord or rental agent. Photographic proof of issues can be loaded on to the platform as well. If the condition of the property remains the same, you have to get your deposit back.

Cape Argus 25 Aug 2020


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