Breaking Property News – 30/01/24

Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.

 

roofer.com raises £5.9M seed round – Seeking to modernise roofing

For complete transparency Roofer.com are not a client of Proptech-PR my consultancy company, but I did have a recent meeting with Nate Smoyer where we went through what Roofer did as a service, so I am more than happy to run this piece of great news for a really scaling company, who use technology to make more revenue, rather than just looking to use technology to build a tech company, a refreshing change. And drone technology and AI are both definitely very much in the mix here too.

PRESS RELEASE Jan 25, 2024 Dallas Texas – Reported by Nate Smoyer Roofer.com sets out to build first technology-powered, nationwide roofing company, ‍AI startup Roofer.com, a pioneering technology company in the roofing industry, announced today that it has raised a $7.5 (£5.9) million Seed round led by Mucker Capital with participation from Soma Capital, HF0, Asymmetric Capital Partners, Alumni Ventures, HustleFund, The Council, GoAhead Ventures, Mirada Capital and several prominent angels such as the Founder and CEO of Mercury and the Founder and CEO of ParkHub, The company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and plans to use the funding to launch into Austin, Texas, it’s second market.

‍Prior to closing the Seed round, Roofer.com was a participant in an exclusive accelerator reserved for leading startups focused on developing AI products and solutions, HF0.

The cornerstone of Roofer.com’s innovative approach to roofing lies in its use of advanced AI algorithms and drone technology to conduct roof scans. Drones capture high-resolution photographs, which are then analysed using computer vision. This analysis provides insights into areas of damage, the remaining life of the roof, and whether a repair or complete re-roofing is necessary.

Roofer.com also differentiates itself from other competitors by being vertically integrated and actually doing the roofing work. They acquired Bearded Brothers Roofing & Restoration, one of the largest roofing companies in Texas that did notable projects such as the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk and work for thousands of area homeowners. Today, Roofer.com focuses on re-roofing residential homes for consumers and has a rapidly growing enterprise segment that services multi-family apartments and commercial buildings.

Multiple seasoned executives from the proptech industry have joined the new AI startup in pursuit of building the next Airbnb. “The team you build is the company you build and we’ve built  an incredible team,” said Nathan Mathews. “Our leadership has extensive experience in early to later-stage startups, as well as helping those startups exit successfully for nine figures. With the combination of our team, technology, and streamlined processes, I believe Roofer.com is uniquely positioned to deliver the premiere roofing experience everyone will love.”

The company is setting its sights on growing aggressively by streamlining systems, hiring on to its core team, and entering new markets in 2024, which have yet to be announced.

About Roofer.com it is revolutionising the roofing industry through its digitally native, on-demand approach, utilizing drones and AI to unlock proprietary roofing data for homeowners and enterprise operators. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, Roofer.com drives down the costs of roof repair and replacement, enhances the property owner experience, and provides a national roofing platform for marketplace participants.


Skip Hire UK discusses how the Renters Reform Bill may impact Landlords

The private rented sector is a vital part of England’s housing market. Around 4.6 million properties are privately rented, representing nearly one-fifth of households in England. The Government is taking a closer look at the sector through the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill, which aims to improve conditions for both tenants and landlords. The reasoning behind this decision draws upon the fact that some renters face “a precarious lack of security” while landlords are being “undercut by a minority of criminal landlords”.

Chris Martin, Sales Director at Skip Hire UK commented, ‘While the bill may pose some challenges for landlords, it is essentially aimed at improving the private housing sector and achieving long-term positive results.’ In the following piece Chris explores in his view how the Renters Reform Bill may impact landlords and the general attitudes towards the upcoming changes, starting with some key background.

Understanding the Renters Reform Bill  The Renters Reform Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation designed to bring about substantial changes in the rental sector. It was initially proposed in 2019, detailed in the 2022 Fairer Private Rented Sector whitepaper and finally presented to Parliament on May 17, 2023.

The bill aims to enhance the rights of the 11 million private renters and protect over 2 million landlords, improving the quality of rental properties and streamlining legal processes for both parties. Some of the key components of the Renters Reform Bill include:

Abolition of Section 21 evictions  One of the most significant changes proposed by the bill is the abolition of Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without a specific reason. Removal of Section 21 seeks to provide tenants with greater security and stability in their homes. Still, it also means that landlords must rely on legitimate grounds for eviction.

While the abolition of Section 21 seems to be the highlight of the Renters Reform Bill, supposedly posing the biggest challenge for landlords, a new study by Leaders Romans Group (LRG) found that a whopping 79% of landlords have never invoked Section 21. Historically, only 13% have used it, but not in the recent year. Some landlords have resorted to Section 21 due to lease violations.

Reform of Section 8 evictions  The Renters Reform Bill also seeks to reform Section 8, the process by which landlords can seek possession of a property on specified grounds. The aim is to expedite the eviction process for legitimate reasons, such as non-payment of rent or property damage while ensuring that tenants have sufficient safeguards against unfair eviction.

Improvement of property standards  The bill places a strong emphasis on raising the quality of rental properties. Landlords may be required to adhere to stricter property maintenance and safety standards, such as the Decent Homes Standard, ensuring that tenants have good quality and a habitable living environment.

According to the latest English Housing Survey, 23% of occupied private sector dwellings fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard, which is a higher proportion than in the social rented sector (10%) and in the owner-occupied sector (13%). In order to comply with the Decent Homes Standard, landlords need to ensure that private rental properties are devoid of serious health and safety hazards, that there is decent noise insulation and adequate heating, as well as a range of facilities that help maintain the property neat and clean.

‘It’s important that properties adhere to certain standards to ensure the wellbeing of the tenants and the longevity of the property. While houses in bigger cities might benefit from easily accessible communal facilities such as recycling bins, landlords in smaller cities need to ensure that their tenants also have access to such facilities. Ensuring that any hazardous items are disposed of in a responsible and sustainable way.’ – Chris Martin, Sales Director.

Introduction of lifetime deposits  To simplify the rental process, the Renters Reform Bill proposes the introduction of lifetime deposits. This measure aims to reduce the financial burden on tenants by allowing them to carry over their deposits from one tenancy to another.

Nevertheless, such an introduction may impact landlords financially, as they will need to navigate the complexities of managing and transferring deposits between tenancies. This change could also have implications for cash flow and financial planning. After the first reading, amendments were made to the Renters Reform Bill, including delaying plans to abolish Section 21, to be considered at the Committee stage in the House of Commons. The second reading will take place in 2024.

Impact on landlords  While the Renters Reform Bill is designed to enhance tenants’ rights and improve the overall rental experience, landlords have expressed concerns regarding how the bill will affect them. According to Goodlord and Vouch’s sixth State of the Lettings Industry report, 54% of landlords are pessimistic about the upcoming change.

Although the bill is aimed at improving the rental market for both tenants and landlords, new research by NRLA reveals the latter’s unfavourable attitudes towards the reform. 87% of the 3200 respondents believe that the Government’s representation of the bill is “hostile” towards landlords. They feel that their representation as an obstruction to a functioning private rented sector, based heavily on stereotypes, is not accurate.

There are also certain financial concerns, as 93% of landlords feel that the proposals will elevate the financial risk associated with renting private accommodations. Likewise, nearly 85% of landlords anticipate a detrimental impact on their cash flow due to the proposed reforms.

Would landlords sell their properties?  Despite the drastic changes and potential financial burdens, attitudes towards remaining in the rental market have remained relatively stable. According to the LRG survey, 68% intend to retain their current property assets, with an additional 6% considering expanding their portfolios. For those landlords contemplating divestment, motivations vary. Policy shifts are cited by 52%, economic considerations by 25%, and “personal circumstances unrelated to income” by 23%.

Chris Martin’s final thoughts are, ‘The results from the LRG survey show that there are many factors at play affecting landlords’ sentiments towards the private rental market. While the bill is certainly taking a toll on decision-making, the cost-of-living crisis also affects the sector.’

‘It is important that the viewpoints of landlords are also taken into consideration and action while they proactively adapt their practices to align with the evolving legal landscape. Despite challenges that may arise, the ultimate goal is to create a rental market that benefits both tenants and landlords, fostering a more sustainable and equitable housing environment.’

 

If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at editor@estateagentnetworking.co.uk – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward. PropTech-X

Andrew Stanton

CEO & Founder Proptech-PR. Proptech Real Estate Influencer, Executive Editor of Estate Agent Networking. Leading PR consultancy in Proptech & Real Estate. Want to contact me directly regarding one of my articles or maybe you'd like a chat about future articles? Email me via editor@stagingsite.estateagentnetworking.co.uk

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