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Why we screen potential host properties

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

Some of the listing applications I receive look AMAZING on the face of it: insanely good location, stunning views, sought-after locale…

It would be all too easy to get overwhelmed by the incredible views and miss those tiny red flags.

🚩 The host is being super cagey when I ask about their neighbours. Could be a sign they have had previous issues.

🚩 The photos provided are so closely cropped you can’t see adjoining properties. This often means the property is in a really built up area, or the neighbours or outlook are less than desirable.

🚩 The property looks lovely but they’re asking $300 a week. Market comparison to other recent rentals will likely show me you can rent a high end apartment in that same area for the same price.

These are all real examples of listings submitted to us that I’ve politely declined.

You see, the internet is a wonderful thing.

Google Earth can show me exactly what you’re trying to hide (like the piggery literally across the road).

And can show me comparable sales and local rentals, so I know full well the $300 a week you’re asking for that tiny vacant block in the dead-rural town is either wilful ignorance or intentional price gouging. We're in a housing crisis. Neither is okay.

While the VAST majority of land owners who apply to host through us are genuinely amazing, good hearted people- there are some who will try to take advantage.

There are plenty of people land-banking or sitting on vacant lots while they wait to sell up or maybe start building a house. Hosting in those circumstances can be a fantastic interim solution.

But a small portion of these people see us online and think listing with us is a cash cow and an easy way to take advantage of those “desperate” Tiny House people.

There are a couple of things you should know.

We undertake a risk assessment on every Host Application submitted to us.

We are also not desperate enough for listings that we will compromise the safety of our members, our integrity, or the reputation of our platform.

We will politely decline unsuitable properties.

We owe it to our members and the movement as a whole to protect those courageous enough to embark on this lifestyle.

I know from my own experiences with hundreds of property listings and member conversations, that the screening of host properties for risks and potential issues is absolutely vital to a smooth transition into Tiny House life.

I've seen firsthand the fallout when this process isn't utilised:

  • Hosts ghosting their new tenant right before moving day (cue panic, loss of towing fees, Tiny House storage fees and a desperate phone call to me)

  • The Tiny House arriving to site behind a tow truck that's unable to access the parking spot.

  • Tenants being taken advantage of with "work in lieu of rent" arrangements.

These are all real life cases, and the exact reason we will never be open source (allowing hosts to post their listing with no checks or screening).

No matter which side of the landlord/tenant agreement you’re on, no-one deserves to be taken advantage of, and I will continue to be the Mumma Bear and do everything in my power to prevent this


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