Student website simplifies landlord relationships
Last year when Andrew Bauer and his friends finished moving off campus, they found that the house was infested with rats.
Bauer and his roommates called their landlord, but Bauer said the landlord blamed them for bringing the rats into the house and threatened to evict them.
The second day in the house, the front door got busted in. After calling the landlord again, Bauer said they got no answer.
Bauer, a senior information management and technology major, decided that he wanted to create a website to ultimately prevent students from having to go through the process he went through. Last year he founded rentcuse.com, a website that connects landlords with potential residents who are looking for an off-campus place to live. The website is still in its beta phase.
“I wouldn’t have had the idea if I didn’t have a really crappy landlord last year,” Bauer said. “We had been warned about him and people told us, ‘You don’t want to deal with him. It’s not worth the hassle.’”
Rentcuse.com is not affiliated with Syracuse University at all, Bauer said.
Bauer, who describes moving off campus as a “big tricky mess,” said that what sets rentcuse.com apart from Off-Campus and Commuter Services is that it gives students looking to live off campus more resources to make the process easier. Rentcuse.com is trying to expand on what Off-Campus and Commuter Services does so that students have not only a different offering, but, to Bauer, a better one.
“One of the products we’re gonna release, we’re calling it a rent report,” Bauer said. “It’s basically going to be like a Carfax for houses.”
Students will be able to go over a report that details the history of the landlord and the property, Bauer said. Even though this information is already available to students, few take advantage of it. As a result, rentcuse.com will make all of this information more accessible and as simple as Carfax.
“People could go out and find all the accidents that have been reported and they could manually find all that stuff, but it’s a pain,” Bauer said.
Christopher Becker, a senior information management and technology major, has played a role with the development of rentcuse.com. Becker said he isn’t directly helping with rentcuse.com, but instead is giving Bauer insight. Becker’s thoughts and perception stem from the success he has had with his own technological ventures.
Becker said he is impressed with what Bauer has done so far and thinks if the website becomes successful, it will help students in the long run.
He also said he put Bauer in touch with John Liddy last year. Liddy, who works at the Student Sandbox, helped Bauer get the company going.
“I assisted him after he got it rolling,” Liddy said. “I’ve been coaching him since he had the idea. Early on, he came to me and I chatted with him and I gave him some specific questions to consider relative to strategy.”
Liddy said he thinks that Bauer does well responding to the needs of the market.
Said Liddy: “He’s eager and outgoing. If I say you need to go out and talk to X, he will go out and talk to X. If I say you need to talk to landlords, he will go out and talk to landlords.”
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