rental housing industry

Online platform protects landlord, tenant rights

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Launched in late October 2014, a new online platform seeks to ease the process of renting an apartment by protecting the rights of tenants and landlords and making rental information more accessible. Originally available exclusively in Waterloo, Ont., the map-based site, known as Apartmint, has recently expanded its services to Toronto and Windsor, Ont.

Through the site, prospective and existing tenants can search for available apartments in their area and communicate with their landlords. Apartmint hopes to launch an additional feature allowing tenants to make rent payments through the platform in the coming months. Landlords can use the website to post their available properties and find appropriate occupants for vacant units.

The concept for the website materialized when co-founders Margaret Cichosz, Ignacio Mongrell, and Davy Chiu were attending a TechCrunch event in Toronto, Ont. Cichosz received a phone call from her father indicating that tenants in her rental property had moved out without notice, leaving extensive damage behind. Mongrell told Cichosz that he had been the victim of a similar experience. Recognizing a need for a more seamless and protective rental process, both for landlords and tenants, the three co-founders began developing Apartmint.

Apartmint is formatted for use from a mobile phone or desktop computer, making it easier for apartment hunters to search for available and reputable properties on the go. The site features a section for tenant profiles which can double as rental applications. In the future, users will be able to provide public ratings of both tenants and landlords, a feature which aims to alleviate the prevalence of scams, fake and expired listings, and inaccurate information.

“We are constantly adapting our platform based on customer feedback and we are working on exciting new features that will set Apartmint apart from any other housing site in Canada,” says Ignacio Mongrell, COO and co-founder at Apartmint. “The ratings and reviews system will be implemented in the short term and will help landlords screen better tenants based on behavioural facts. We want to make the rental process smoother for both landlords and tenants. We envision Apartmint as the one-stop platform for rentals in Canada.”

According to the co-founders, tenant households are expected to rise dramatically over the next decade as a result of rising house prices. As such, the importance of factual and readily available rental information is paramount.

Apartmint was a finalist in the GTAN/Start, DigiFest Toronto, and National Business and Technology Conference competitions.

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