Software firm Bynaric says it can eliminate bias in rental housing allocations

Bynaric founder Aria Pour

Paul O'Donoghue

An Irish technology firm says its software can almost completely eliminate bias from tenant selection processes, promising an end to issues that have dogged new renters and create potential legal issues for landlords.

Dublin-based startup Bynaric said its lottery system for allocating tenancies will handle the entirety of the tenant selection process for cost-rental housing here as the State scales up delivery.

Bynaric is also expanding abroad, aiming to raise up to €2m as it opens offices in London and Manchester later this year.

The company has created a software for state and private landlords which handles tenant selection, onboarding and management once the renter is in place.

Aria Pour, the company’s founder, said the technology streamlines the application process for landlords, and is fairer for tenants.

“We make sure the people applying qualify based on their self-declarations,” he told the Irish Independent.

“Like for cost rental projects, there’s a rule that a household shouldn’t have net income of over €53,000 per year. Then the housing provider can go through the application swiftly.

“We have two different methods [of selecting tenants]. First come, first served, and then there is a random process.

“If a provider has 20 properties and 2,000 applicants, it lists the applicants in a random way and then goes through the applicants until they can fill the properties, so it’s random and fair.”

Bynaric’s lottery system has been used in cost rental housing projects. Stock image. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

This ‘lottery’ system is the one which is in place for cost rental projects, several of which have already rolled out.

“All documentation happens on the platform. You can know where you are in the queue, you can see if you were skipped for other people, so you can ask if there is a justification for it,” Mr Pour said.

He added that he started the company because he wanted to use his tech background for something “in social justice”.

You can see if you were skipped for other people, so you can ask if there is a justification for it

“There have been lots of studies showing that [tenants are selected] based on biases such as gender, colour, stage of your life.

The firm said its studies showed it increased efficiency of housing providers by 50pc and reduced incidences of bias by 90pc.

“As we have been managing all cost rental projects, not one application has been subject to bias. All properties have been distributed fairly.”

Bynaric employs 20 people and had sales of €1.2m last year, with many of its clients including state bodies such as Meath County Council, approved housing bodies including Tuath Housing, and the Land Development Agency, the organisation spearheading cost rental housing.

The firm expects record sales of €3.2m this year.

“Eighty percent of our growth will be in the UK. We have already registered an office in Manchester and have a shared space in London. Our team can expand to 35 in the next 12 months and we are looking to have five of those hires in the UK.

“We’ll be looking for €2m in funding, which will mostly be spent on sales and marketing, as well as product development.”