What is the story behind Housemates? Founders Lydia and Marius founded Housemates through a mixture of personal experiences and frustration of how much time and money is lost in the process of trying to book a property. Since then we have been on a journey having been featured in publications like The Times, Property Investor Today, TechNation and winning the regional finals for the North West and North East for the F Factor competition.
What is Housemates? Housemates is on a mission to transform how students book accommodation by offering an end-to-end solution. We work with a variety of property owners across the UK to ensure that all our properties are of a higher quality. We help students book quickly and securely saving whole load of time, money and hassle.
How does it work? Depending on whether you're a student or a property owner our user journey varies. The typical journey means that if you’re a student, you can sign up for free, browse properties, are able to talk directly to property owners and transfer deposits all in one place. Once your accommodation has been booked, your Housemates journey has only just started - we then show you what the neighbourhood has to offer and who else is going to live near. For property owners, they can sign up free of charge (we don’t believe in listing or subscription fees) meaning you get to experience us without card details. We pride ourselves on putting the consumer first, meaning we only make money when you receive successful student bookings. Housemates is a place where you can showcase your property whilst building professional relationships with potential student tenants or guests.
Do I post the listings or does Housemates? We’re a DIY (do it yourself) platform which means all property owners have the freedom to create their property listings - that way they can showcase their property how they want to and take advantage of the opportunity.
What types of property does Housemates list? We’re set on making student accommodation fun, this means offering students a variety in accommodation. We take mundane property search that was previously boring and make it enjoyable. Students can filter from a range of property types including houses, apartments, studios, hotels and aparthotels.
How long does it take to book a property? At Housemates, we don’t have agents involved in the process, meaning there is nothing stopping students completing on a property in less than 24 hours depending on how quick the property owner replies. We’ve built our platform to house everything in one place to make the transaction run smoothly - hence why our tagline is “student moves, made smooth”.
How do deposits work on Housemates? All student deposits are held in what is called Escrow; this means that when booking an accommodation the money is held with a trusted third-party to secure everyone in the conversation. 1. If you’re a private landlord, you will have access to the student's deposit once a) they have moved in and confirmed within the first 48 hours that the property meets the original standard advertised and b) you have paid the service fee. 2. If you’re a hotel, you will receive the full payment minus our 20% service fee the day in which the guest checks in.
How far in advance can I book accommodation? The maximum you can book accommodation in advance in three months based on our payment service.
Is there a minimum duration in stay? The minimum stay is set by the property owner, meaning this varies on the platform.
How do referrals work? Help us grow the community one student and property owner as a time. If you’re a property owner, hit the invite button your dashboard in-app and invite another. For every property owner you invite, who goes on to list a property with us you will both receive a 50% discount on your first load of service fees.
Does Housemates offer discounts to hotels, property developers and aparthotels? One of our core values is being fair, and this means no one is treated differently and therefore everyone is on the same service fee rates. We believe in transparency and have witnessed that one of the main issues in the student accommodation market is that for a long time many people haven’t been honest; therefore everyone gets sold a different thing and signs on different deal terms. By having everyone on the same service fee rate, free up until we send successful student bookings and having no cancellation fees we see ourselves as a strong alternative for property owners currently listing elsewhere.
How do I know if a property owner is verified? At Housemates, we do our best to go the extra mile to ensure our properties are verified. You will be able to see on the property owners profile the verified tick, which ensures they have met our verification criteria.
How do I report an unprofessional property owner or student? We are set on cultivating a community that is everything that our values state in our community guides., Iif you are to come across someone who is acting unprofessional then we want you to speak up about it - email us firstname.lastname@example.org, message our in app support channel or DM us on Twitter @joinhousemates.
What if I want to cancel on a property/booking?Thanks to our payment system students can cancel bookings and receive refunds - if you experience any issues, please contact email@example.com