Canopy review: An app to connect renters and landlords in a trusted way

Canopy review: An app to connect renters and landlords in a trusted way

Discover how Canopy works, how it helps renters and landlords, plus whether we recommend it.

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Canopy is a new start-up, which aims to simplify the renting process for both tenants and landlords with a number of revolutionary features.

In this guide, you’ll learn how Canopy can make your life easier.

What is Canopy?

Canopy is a “rental marketplace” app that was founded in 2016, after its founders noticed several flaws in the UK rental property industry that really shouldn’t exist in the modern day. It’s available for tenants and landlords to download on iOS and Android.

Its most useful features for tenants include:

  • Rental Passport. This is your portable renters’ profile. It shows your monthly income (achieved via Open Banking), your credit score (thanks to Canopy’s partnership with Experian) and your history of previous rental payments. Your Rental Passport allows you to be pre-qualified for a rental home in minutes. Instead of filling out a mountain of paperwork, you can share your Rental Passport with letting agents or landlords.
  • Deposit-free renting. Instead of forking out several weeks worth of rent on a deposit, tenants can apply for a deposit-free policy via Canopy. For a one-off fee, or equally for a small percentage of your monthly rent, you’ll be insured against losing your job or becoming seriously ill. If landlords are signed up to this scheme, they’ll receive eight weeks’ rent worth of protection.
  • Improve your credit score by paying rent. Canopy uses Open Banking to track your rent payments, and report these to Experian and Equifax, so you can improve your credit score.
  • Budgeting tools. Canopy’s budgeting tools will use Open Banking to analyse your previous spending and calculate how much you can afford to spend on rent and utility bills.

How does Canopy work?

To get started with Canopy, create an account and verify your email address.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be prompted to create your Rental Passport. This process takes around ten minutes. It will involve linking Canopy with your bank account using Open Banking, being credit checked and linking your previous rental payments to your account.

You’ll be able to use this passport during your application with landlords and letting agents who are partnered with Canopy.

Once you have found a home to move into with a partnered landlord or letting agent, you can use the Canopy app to purchase a deposit-free policy.

How can Canopy help both renters and landlords?

The features mentioned above are also useful for landlords, and that’s why Canopy is hopeful of a mass adoption within the rental industry.

The rental passport feature then allows landlords to quickly make accurate checks on their tenants. The deposit-free policies allow a wider spectrum of tenants (such as those who perhaps can’t afford a traditional eight-week deposit) to apply to live in their property, while still protecting them in the case of rental arrears or property damage.

Canopy also includes a tenant referencing feature, which it hopes will prove to be faster and more accurate than the current system. Tenants are able to leave references for landlords too.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Canopy provides free, faster and more reliable tenant checks.
  • Canopy allows you to rent a property without paying a deposit.
  • You can access helpful budgeting tools powered by Open Banking.
  • You can improve your credit score with every rental payment.

Cons

  • The one major downside of Canopy is that it’s a new service, and so limited landlords and letting agents have signed up at this time. Without a significant number of them on board, Canopy will prove to be mostly useless for tenants.

Our verdict

Canopy could revolutionise the rental property market as we know it. However, that will only happen if it achieves mass adoption across the UK.

It’s too early to predict the likelihood of that, but both tenants and landlords will benefit if it happens.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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