Northwich Guardian - Recession Could Be Good News For Company
A YOUNG entrepreneur from Northwich believes the recession will give the best possible chance of success to a new housing business he is launching.
Gareth Pugh, 26, has just launched FlatMateRooms.co.uk, a unique website that matches tenants and landlords with a spare room to rent.
He's confident it will revolutionise the way people rent their spare rooms out.
The site has been tested locally in the last few weeks, and is now being rolled out on a national basis.
Gareth came up with the idea while travelling in Dublin and believes the recession will see it quickly attract a large customer base.
He said: "I needed somewhere to stay in Dublin and went into an internet cafe to look for adverts for rooms. Chatting to the other people using computers there, I realised they were after the same thing.
"It was the same situation in two other internet cafes I visited.
"The demand for rooms is massive in every town and city, not just in popular tourist destinations.
"You can earn up to £4,250 a year tax-free renting a room.
"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.
"And it helps tenants who can't afford to get a place of their own."
The concept of putting landlords and tenants together on the internet isn't new.
But Gareth has worked out a simpler business model to other sites where the landlord pays for the adverts, and tenants get full access for free.
He says that tests show this helps the landlord rent their room much more quickly, earning them money instantly.
Gareth has invested heavily in building the website, spending months getting the look and functionality perfect.
He added: "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."
In an introductory offer, local landlords can get their first month's advertising free by visiting flatmaterooms.co.uk.