So, picture this. You’re young and beautiful (or handsome!) with a bright future ahead of you at a small company in a French city. You’re eager to fly the nest, either alone or with your partner. The only problem is finding a landlord prepared to rent their property to a bright, young talent who is just starting out. One who has not yet got a permanent contract or any type of rental history. Who can act as a guarantor?
This scenario is fairly common (I myself was faced with this challenge when I rented my first apartment in the 14th arrondissement in Paris). Indeed, almost six million people are in this position. When you think of it, this can also apply to freelancers, retired professionals and students. There is a real need to be met.
What is Unkle?
Unkle is a young company created at the beginning of 2018 by three co-founders who had experienced first hand, or known someone who had, faced the challenge of finding a rental property as they did not meet all of the landlord’s prerequisites.
The company’s idea is a simple one. Working in partnership with Sada, an insurance company specialised in guarantees for rental arrears, to re-establish landlords’ trust and provide a valuable helping hand to aspiring tenants. The latter are therefore asked to pay a commission equivalent to 3.5% of the amount of the rent to Unkle for the duration of the rental agreement.
How does it work in practice?
The tenant completes an application form with Unkle and within a few minutes, based on the information provided, the experts draw up an eligibility certificate (which includes the maximum rent that Unkle can guarantee you for). The future tenant can then present this certificate to any potential landlords.
Unkle is currently establishing partnerships with estate agents. However, if a landlord is not familiar with this kind of guarantee, the company’s experts are on hand to convince him or her that your application is risk-free.
By accepting the rental guarantee agreement (monthly commission of 3.5%), landlords are immediately covered by the guarantee which means the rental agreement can be finalised.
The advantages of the system:
In addition to the ease and speed of the process, one of the big advantages of Unkle is being able to become independent without having to rely on the help of family or friends. The company provides a contractual relationship that values the tenant and reassures the landlord.
The company is still young, but has major potential in a market which, since its launch, has seen the arrival of new competitors. Unkle, through its partnerships with insurance companies and fund-raising deals with property experts (such as the founder of French mortgage broker meilleurtaux.com) is making its mark by drawing on digital solutions and building a solid expertise in all things accommodation. In my view, it fully deserves its classification here as an “interesting approach”.