Posted on 29th of April, 2020

Yuno: Redefining Coliving property expertise with data

It’s been some time since we have presented a Think Tank Partner and to make up for this, we have an exciting new addition: Yuno. This data-driven platform provides property expertise and compliance, on-demand. According to Yuno, “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise”, and the platform was built to take advantage of this.

Founded by Paul Conway, Yuno lends its services to Coliving companies, Property Management companies and Property Service companies, among many others; who are all looking to expand their offering. The data-driven platform provides details specific to every property in a portfolio, helping these companies and services to understand how to best advise their client. What do they advise on?

That would be their keyword: Compliance. Specifically, the compliance a property needs, for instance, the property location, number of tenants and number of households. Following this, they can become compliant with an easy booking system. This is put together by Yunos the qualified, experienced and accredited experts who are on hand to support property management companies and their clients. To find out more, we spoke to the founder, Paul Conway, who told us exactly how Yuno works and where we may see the platform and its services in action, particularly in Coliving.

Hi Paul! Could you please explain Yuno to us in your own words?

Yuno is basically data-led property expertise and compliance on demand so as well as the above we make sure that all the boring compliance stuff is taken care of on the platform and support is there from qualified, experienced and accredited experts. It works on the compliance model: ‘How to comply?’, ‘Comply’ and ‘Stay compliant’. So the tech takes care of 'How', experts take care of 'Comply' and the platform automatically monitors the compliance of your portfolio and notifies you of what you need to do and by which expert, so that’s 'Staying Compliant' taken care of.

Aside from Licensing support, what services does the Yuno platform support its operators with that could be of interest to a Coliving company or brand?

We support our Coliving operators with ‘planning’ specific to the issues they face and it can be manifested in really specialised support that is required and our experts have seen it all before. We can, of course, help out with ‘design’ right from the start where ARB Architects overseen by Environmental Health Officers create compliant designs to create amazing places to live and to increase yield. We, of course, have Fire Safety compliance covered too with competent fire risks assessors and accredited support on hand for any upgrade works. Asbestos can be a hassle too and that is, of course, a key part of the journey. And when all is said and done we have RICS surveyors to have your investment valued.

What would happen if a Coliving brand does not comply with all the licensing standards required to operate?

Unfortunately, it’s a real minefield out there and you can quite easily get £30K fine per office or an unlimited fine and even a criminal conviction. They may also be put on the rogue landlords & agents database and banned from operating property for a set amount of years, it can get really serious. Another huge thing that Coliving operators have fallen foul off is Rent Repayment Orders, this is where tenants can claim up to 12 months worth of rent from the landlord.

Have you worked with a Coliving brand & what is the typical licensing that Coliving operators need?

Yes, and these include Caledonia Lettings, Lyvly, and Living London. Coliving companies need a whole host of support and by using the Yuno platform they can get access to all the services we provide. Coliving operators come into contact with all types of licensing in the UK. Mandatory, Additional and Selective Licensing. They also face strong controls over Planning either locally or countrywide restrictions. They should focus on an all-round compliance ethos covering the 29 hazards of HHSRS, Fire safety under the RRO and Asbestos management to name a few.

On your website you differentiate between HMOs (house of multiple occupancy) and Bedsit HMOs, could you please elaborate on the difference between the two?

There are a few ideas around this but the basics are that if you create a common part in some way, to explain further if the tenants are on individual tenancies and/or there are locks on the bedroom doors, you are effectively saying that all the tenants do not have exclusive use of the whole property, thus it is a Bedsit HMO rather than a shared house. For completeness, a shared house is when tenants are on the same tenancy agreement, no locks on bedroom doors and have exclusive use of the whole property and can go into each other’s rooms if required. They act a one family unit and therefore risks are reduced.

Thank you, Paul, for taking the time to answer these insightful questions about Yuno which open up the Coliving world and conversation, even further. We look forward to more collaborations in this Think Tank Partnership!

For more on the work of Yuno, take a look here and don’t miss their Twitter.

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