Nationwide invests in digital lettings agency Bunk
Nationwide Building Society has announced its latest investment in digital lettings agency Bunk, which uses open banking to offer services such as deposit-free rentals for tenants and rent management for landlords, all for a monthly fee.
Representing both landlords and renters, this strategic investment for Nationwide will aid its campaign to improve the rental market on both ends of the spectrum.
As part of its £50 million Venturing Fund set up last year, Nationwide wants to expand its partner network out to early stage start-ups in a bid to create more innovative products.
“We want to build something the rental market has never seen before,” says Bunk’s CEO, Tom Woollard. “Landlords are facing reduced margins coupled with increased regulation and there has never been a better time to make their lives easier through the use of technology.”
In a climate where half of all landlords manage their properties alone, Nationwide’s deputy chief executive, Tony Prestedge believes: “The service that Bunk offers could support them, ensuring they’re on top of their obligations and providing a better service to their tenants”.
Bunk also offers landlords regulatory advice and support. For example, the platform can automatically list a landlord’s property on reputable sites, verify tenants and verify the landlord’s proof of ownership.
As well as offering deposit-free rentals to tenants, the platform also prevents landlords taking more than five weeks’ rent as a deposit, as well as using Experian to give tenants who pay rent on time a better credit score.
As well as Experian, Bunk also integrates with Rightmove, Zoopla, the National Landlords Association (NLA), the Property Redress Scheme (PRS) and Client Money Protect (CMP).