Tenants face into countless pitfalls when looking through Ireland’s rental properties. Launched at Dublin Tech Summit 2017, DwellDown has these risks firmly in their sights.
The current state of renting in Ireland
Ireland is in the middle of a rental crisis. A recent Daft.ie report showed there are fewer than 4,000 rental properties on the market for tenants. To make things worse, the average cost of rent is soaring by 13.5% annually. This is a recipe for a disaster where tenants are overpaying ever month and have little in the way of choice to move. Those who brave moving enter a minefield of low standard accommodation. Such was the experience of DwellDown’s Chris Lynch.
The inspiration behind DwellDown
Chris and his wife Helen lived within walking distance of Dublin City Centre. With a new arrival in the family, moving to a bigger place was on the cards. Liking the area they lived in, Chris and his family were delighted to find a bigger apartment around the corner. Given the low number of rental properties on the market, they had to queue to view the place. After a few weeks, they got the news that they got the apartment.
Chris and his family didn’t have long to enjoy that “new apartment” feeling. In fact, after just one week they realised they’d made a big mistake. They discovered mould, broken appliances and that the landlord was a terrible communicator. Chris did manage to find the contact details of the apartment’s previous tenants. He took the opportunity to ask them why they moved. Turns out they were expecting a child and didn’t want to raise them in that apartment.
This led to DwellDown.
How does DwellDown help tenants searching for rental properties?
After his terrible experience, Chris realised the power of feedback. Of course, peer-to-peer feedback as grown as fast as the internet itself. We have sites like Trip Advisor for travel and Glassdoor for workplaces. Until now, no-one has offered a space to share rental experiences. This is the space DwellDown is looking to fill.
Irish tenants spend up to 60% of their income on rent
Speaking with Chris at Dublin Tech Summit, we learned the average Irish renter spends between 30% and 60% of their income on rent. A lack of transparency in the private rental market forces tenants to make poor decisions. Renters can now visit DwellDown and anonymously review their current or past rental property. Movers can access the feedback of a rental property’s previous tenants.
What you’ll learn from DwellDown’s feedback
Finding feedback for your next apartment is easy. DwellDown is completely compatible with Eircodes. Your search then brings up feedback on the property you’re interested in. The feedback is based on comfort, the landlord’s communication, amenities and the neighbourhood, each scored out of 10. Feedback provided to DwellDown will also tell you if previous tenants felt the property was family or student friendly.
You’ll now have a DwellDown Score for your property and whether it’s a recommended rental or not. Keeping things simple, the feedback also presents a quick good and bad bits. You’ll also be presented with the reported rent previous tenants have paid and the average rental prices in the area.
Traditionally, people in Ireland sometimes feel awkward about asking certain questions. DwellDown will provide you with answers so you don’t have to ask your potential landlord. Having just launched, the service needs to grow its database of feedback. Given the benefits of this new, transparency driven, platform, I don’t think that’ll take very long.
Bonus: DwellDown at Dublin Tech Summit
We were streaming live interviews from the floor of Dublin Tech Summit. We met with Chris from DwellDown for a quick chat about his vision.