Housing as a Service (HaaS): The Birth of a Revolution

Posted by

Marina Cheal

on June 7, 2019

We’ve spoken before about the new generation of renters - those with high expectations, low tolerance for bad service and a clear idea of what they want out of life.


They want renting to be a part of their lifestyle - enabling them to live the way they want, and giving them the level of customer service they’re used to from the apps on their phone like Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo. These apps and customer experiences have shaped renter desires in three ways. Let’s look a little further into the demands of the modern renter:

They want good service

The thought of dealing with an unresponsive landlord, or copping extra estate agent fees for pretty minor services is pretty hard to take for people who can get someone on a bicycle to come and do it in half the time and cost. In 2019, renting needs to use the best of what’s possible through technology. That means no waiting around for 12 hours for a tradesman who might not ever arrive. Real-time updates and quick resolutions to maintenance problems are the standard.

Furniture, too, is an area where estate agents traditionally haven’t excelled. Sure, they may offer a flat furnished or unfurnished if the landlord accommodates it. But they don’t offer customisation (we’ll get to that a bit later) and they don’t offer moving as part of the service, even though it would be a great way to make the experience a little bit special for the renter.

They want flexibility

Renting is designed around landlords and money – unfortunately for renters. In highly competitive capital city rental markets, renters have been conditioned to be happy with being moved around like sheep from home to home at times that are most convenient for the person who’s making the money rather than the one who’s paying.

Renters are the customers, and they deserve some flexibility so that their rental can fit around their lives. Especially in this day and age where flexibility is increasingly built in to our lives.

They want their rental to feel like home

Followings like #HowIRent are empowering the rental generation to feel ownership over their abodes, even if they don’t own them, with thrifty and stylish touches that can travel with them to their next place. Grillo Designs is just one renter making a business of their temporary interior designs. Faced with an indefinite future of tenancy, young people are making it their own – and doing it in style.

On top of this, government regulations all over the world are starting to shift in favour of renters in response to cultural outcry. Landlords and letting agents in England are set to be banned from charging tenants letting fees from 1 June. In September 2018, Australia’s Victorian government passed a set of reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act that would give renters increased rights. And in Berlin, rising rents are fuelling a movement urging city government to buy back apartments.

Renting, like other industries, has to redesign itself around the needs of its customers – that is, renters. And it needs to do it fast. The good news is that it’s now happening.

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