Rental property platform SPEEDHOME may enable the poor to move from rental to property ownership because of the app's rental deposit-free feature, a minister said.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the platform's added accessibility to potential homeowners of the bottom 40 per cent income (B40 group) was a creative approach in assisting the federal government's rent-to-own schemes under the government's National Affordable Housing Policy.
"Their no-discrimination policy will definitely help because the B40 group consists of low-income earners and they will be able to match with properties that are insured."
"I hope SPEEDHOME will look to ensuring lower-rent homes for the B40 so they can get used to this rental scheme before settling for home ownership in the long run," she told reporters at SPEEDHOME's launching ceremony at its head office here.
Under SPEEDHOME's discrimination-free policy, individuals regardless of their colour and background will be accorded fair treatment when looking for properties to rent as landlords will not be able to include tenants' criteria when posting their property.
Zuraida also pointed out that rent-to-own is something the ministry wanted to move forward with, saying the platform's no-hassle and the no-deposit trait will make housing ownership more accessible by allowing people to save up to eventually buy a home.
SPEEDHOME (formerly Speedrent) is an automated mobile platform connecting landlords directly to tenants while providing rental protection and house-purchasing services.
Among the unique selling points of SPEEDHOME is their No Deposit, No Commission policy combined with insurance for reassurance and direct communications with the homeowners.
SPEEDHOME also provides a simplified and transparent rental process for both landlord and tenants to make informed decisions by combining automation and interactivity for its users.
The platform's insurance provides insurance and rental protection up to RM1,000 for minor damages and up to RM15,000 for theft, including loss of rental for up to two months.
During her speech, Zuraida said SPEEDHOME will therefore provide a kind of discipline for potential homeowners from the B40 group as it opened up more accessibility channels for home ownership and alternatives to stringent financial institution checks.
"There is a lot of disposable income from the B40 group and if they manage their financial situation properly, they can become asset owners and shareholders."
"I believe we can improve their quality of life and with SPEEDHOME's effort we can see somewhere along the same wavelength," she said.
When asked if SPEEDHOME and similar platforms should be regulated, Zuraida said she does not see a need for regulations as clear policies were already in place.
"The only thing that remains is get the Residential Tenancy Act to bind with both landlord and tenants together in the effort to reinforce the SPEEDHOME concept," she said.
Also present during the event were SPEEDHOME founder and chief executive Wong Whei Meng, Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia chairman Datuk Soam Heng Choon.