Warrington Guardian - Businessman hopes to thrive in credit crunch
A YOUNG entrepreneur believes the credit crunch will help his new business flourish as people look to make some extra cash.
Gareth Pugh has launched the website flatmaterooms.co.uk that lets homeowners and landlords put those spare rooms up for rent through the internet.
The 26-year-old from Museum Street, originally came up with the idea for the website while travelling in Dublin.
Gareth said: "I needed somewhere to stay in Dublin and went into an internet cafe to look for adverts for rooms. Chatting to the other seven 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."
Although the concept of using a website to link up tenants and landlords isn't a new one Gareth believes his has something extra to get the business.
He has a simpler business model than other sites where landlords pay for the adverts and tenants get full access free.
"You can earn up to £4,250 a year tax free renting a room," he added, "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."
He has already been testing the website in the region and has just launched nationwide.
Gareth continued: "We have got adverts from all over, we just want to get more people on board."
The website is also packed with useful information for those thinking of venturing into becoming a landlord and also for people renting for the first time.
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."