A local man is on a mission to ease the rental crisis in the city by offering a community-oriented approach toward renting homes.
New to Guelph, Hart Togman launched Rent Panda - a free online platform where tenants and landlords can find the right housing match - in Guelph after he and his brother Richard personally experienced frustration relating to rent in seven Canadian cities.
Togman says everywhere he looked he noticed low-quality images, lack of transparency and no unified system which was worsened by constant scams that ultimately made the entire experience a nightmare.
He says such experiences often result in individuals resorting to classified web sites to find tenants and landlords.
“There's just a better way we can do it rather than classifieds. Part of it is understanding what this city needs,” says Togman.
“Toronto is a crazy real estate environment so when you look at a city like Guelph, Thunder Bay and even Kitchener and Waterloo, it still has that transient population that needs housing that relies on Kijiji and Craigslist to primarily find housing.”
Born and raised in Toronto with a marketing background and a co-founder of Summit for Sickkids charity, Togman was ready to take on the role of bringing trust and transparency in the rental market in Guelph and made the decision to move here six weeks ago to kick start Rent Panda in Guelph while his brother takes care of the market in Thunder Bay.
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