AN ENTREPRENEUR from Northwich reckons the recession has provided the ideal time for him to launch his new business.
Former Hartford High School pupil Gareth Pugh, 26, has started up www.flatmaterooms.co.uk, a website that matches tenants and landlords with a spare room to let.
And he’s confident it will “revolutionise” the way people rent rooms out.
Gareth came up with the idea while travelling in Ireland and believes the recession will see it quickly attract a large customer base.
I needed somewhere to stay in Dublin and went into an Internet cafe to look for adverts for rooms, said Gareth, who grew up in Winnington.
Chatting to the other people using computers there, I realised they were after the same thing. The demand for rooms is massive in every town and city.
You can earn up to £4,250 a year tax free renting a room out. Some landlords earn more than £6,000 a year doing it.
That’s vital cash that could keep a family afloat during the hard year ahead.
The concept of putting landlords and tenants together on the Internet isn’t new.
But Gareth claims he has worked out a simpler business model to other sites, where the landlord pays for the adverts and tenants get full access for free - cutting out the estate agent.
Tests show this helps the landlord rent their room much more quickly, earning them money instantly, he said.
Buying or renting a property is out of reach for many people, and many homeowners are really feeling the pinch at the moment. This idea puts the two together so everyone benefits.