NYC-based startup aims to replace security deposits with monthly fee

September 8, 2017

Image via Pexels

Image via Pexels

Finding that perfect New York City apartment can be tough, but pulling together all of that cash for the security deposit can be even tougher. A brand new startup, Rhino, wants to help renters throughout this process by eliminating security deposits. Instead, through the firm, renters would pay a monthly fee, starting at $19 (h/t Crain’s).

Despite the hassle caused by deposits for both renters and landlords, the money usually is returned at the end of the lease. The chief executive of Rhino, Paraag Sarva, told Crain’s that a security deposit “unnecessarily ties up huge amounts of cash for renters.” She added, “We feel like this is a real opportunity put a portion of that money back into renters’ pockets and put better protection into landlords’ pockets.”

According to the startup’s website, Rhino replaces the need for paying a large sum upfront for “damage that probably won’t happen.” In return, Rhino provides insurance to the landlord for the unit. If the landlord claims damage, the firm reviews it and may ask the renter to reimburse for big damage, but not normal wear and tear. The service starts at $19 per month for a $2,500 per month apartment. After filling out a free questionnaire, Rhino will provide a price for the renter’s specific unit.

The renter must provide income and credit history and after filling out the free questionnaire, Rhino calculates a monthly price for the renter’s specific unit. The company takes a cut and then the rest goes to the global insurance firm, Canopius US Insurance, which backs renters.

The startup, which officially launched Thursday, has received almost $2 million in venture capital and has secured its first client, FirstService Residential, the largest property management company in the country.

[Via Crain’s]


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