Need to break your lease? Entrepreneur Richard Saville has an app for that.
Like many things in life, a lease is a double-edged sword. On the other hand, when you rent an apartment, you essentially own the place, at least for the duration of the lease if you meet all the conditions. On the other hand, if you have to break your lease, let’s say because a global pandemic Ripped off your job, or perhaps more ordinary events like a divorce or your roommate can’t handle their half of the rent, a lease can immediately become an unmanageable financial burden.
Australian software developer and entrepreneur Richard Saville, 29, has a solution to offer. Its Break Your Lease app, first introduced in Australia and New Zealand and being launched in the United States, allows tenants to find a qualified person to take over the lease. The app, which has been downloaded by nearly a million people, allows users to exit residential and commercial leases, gym memberships and get out of a range of loans, including cars, motorcycles, jet skis and boats, ethically and without legal issues or residual debt.
“I had personal friends who wanted to end the leases,” Saville said. “And with my experience in real estate, I have been able to identify the high costs of the long rents required until the lease is filled or expires. While I was looking for ways to help my friends opt out of leases, I couldn’t find ANY suitable platform, so I created one.
Interest in the app exploded with celebrity endorsement of the pop star Sean paul, a friend of Saville’s from his days in the entertainment industry. We asked Saville about his eclectic career, the need for the app, and what 2021 looks like for his business as the world slowly emerges from the pandemic.
Your business background is quite varied – real estate, business management. Was it a plan, or did it just happen that way?
My studies after high school focused on real estate and real estate development. After spending a few years learning management skills in the real estate industry, I started Reekko Entertainment, a company specializing in booking, agency and management services. Thanks to that, I met singer Sean Paul and ended up having access to the biggest names in Hollywood for shows in Australia.
In 2019, I entered the tech industry because I knew technology was the new way of the world. I started to think about the gaming side of apps, but they are only trending for 2-3 months, so I thought I would like to create a real estate service that would be a service that would stick around for years to help people. .
Your app is for sale worldwide. Are there legal differences in different countries, or even different locals in the same country, that the app takes into account?
Yes, we had to change some legal provisions with our terms and conditions and privacy which were approved by Apple when we launched the app. Another difference we encountered is that a lot of leases in the US have security deposits that are prepaid, so we had to figure out how to advertise payment charges. Now on the app we have a breakout price and the amount to break the lease as well as the rent price per week / month. Likewise, most leases in Australia are paid weekly, which is not common in the United States.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
On the one hand, the pandemic has helped us because it has created a lot of movement with people who have encountered difficult financial situations because of COVID. On the other hand, we have noticed that during this time people are reluctant to move because no one really knows the effects of what will happen in the future.
Is finding someone to take over the lease the key to getting out of a lease?
Yes, finding someone to take over the lease is the key to getting out of the lease. When you upload your ad to our app, if someone is interested in taking it over, a message will be sent to you through your profile.
How do the owners intervene in the arrangements made under Break Your Lease? They always have the final say on who can rent their property, don’t they?
Owners always have the final say, but Break Your Lease helps people find qualified people to take over the lease. Once a Break Your Lease user wishes to take over a lease, the potential tenant must begin the real estate application with the landlord or property management agency as with any other rental application.
How is business going for you in 2021?
With many rental grants ending soon and life returning to normal in 2021, we think we’re going to have a lot of movement on the app as people deal with life and financial changes.