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British start-up firm, Lavanda, has developed a new app that it hopes will provide a compliant solution for both tenants and landlords in the event of a short-term let. The property specialist is launching Europe’s first platform focusing on short-term rentals for tenants within the private rented sector, in an effort to resolve tenancy breaches arising from subletting. The proptech firm, based in London, is backed by Sir Terry Leahy, the former boss of Tesco, Rightmove’s founder Harry Hill and Kenny Bruce, the co-founder of Purplebricks. Lavanda is now forming a partnership with Aberdeen Standard Investments, the second largest investment manager in real estate, and JLL, who specialises in Build to Rent.

In a similar method to Airbnb, the software platform will allow Build to Rent units to be let on a short-term basis during periods of vacancy during a tenancy. The new platform, named Lavanda Residential, is first being trialled across 470 units in three Build to Rent blocks in Leicester and London. Pending this result, the app will then be made available for the partnership’s entire UK portfolio and into Europe. Aberdeen Standard currently oversees real estate assets worth £44bn across Europe, the UK and Asia, while JLL manages and lets over 5,000 residential units across the UK, offering Lavanda the potential to scale its business.

Both landlords and tenants can use Lavanda Residential, where building managers allocate the quantity of days that a tenant can legally sublet the property. The service promises to benefit both tenants and landlords. Tenants can reduce the cost of living by profiting from void periods in their rented accommodation, while landlords take a portion of this revenue generated from the sublet of the property. The property sector has experienced growing demand for a solution to short-term rentals in a bid to tackle illegal subletting, which involves tenants of rental properties leasing their home to others without their landlord’s permission.

The founder of Lavanda, Guy Westlake, has stated that short-term rentals appear to be shaping the residential market’s future, but are often happening in secret, which causes unnecessary risk for both landlords and residents. The firm plans to offer a 20 per cent increase in profits for landlords, while giving tenants a legitimate income source from short-term rentals. The platform also provides a guarantee, called its comprehensive safety and trust programme, which aims to solve shortfalls in existing contents and building insurance policies, which provides additional peace of mind for tenants and landlords. The new app also aims to tackle anti-social behaviour which is often connected to short-term rental schemes.

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