Information about RenTrust

How it works

How it works

Our site is specifically for students. Before posting or requesting to rent, every user must create an account by using a .edu email address. After you have confirmed your email address, RenTrust admins will approve you to start your journey! 

How does RenTrust stay limited to college students?
The RenTrust team validates everyone that creates a profile and vets them to see if they have a “.edu” email address associated with their account. If we suspect that a user may not be a student, the team will investigate further or ban that person all together from using the platform. 

Why is RenTrust limited to college students?

When we founded RenTrust, we wanted to create a platform where students could easily communicate with their networks away from sketchy craigslist ads and investors who just don’t understand our hectic schedules. 

Is RenTrust free?

Our platform offers two options. 

1. Renting without Online Payments

 This option is 100% free to list your place. Buyer and seller will need to discuss how to manage payments, terms, etc. 

Host Service Fee: 0% 

Guest Service fee: 0% 


2. Renting with Online Payments

This option gives sellers the opportunity to collect payment via our integrated payment system. When a reservation is confirmed we charge both the host and guest a small service fee to cover the cost of payment processing. 

Host Service Fee: 3% 

Guest Service fee: 2% - Seller does not receive funds until you confirm the home is as promised. RenTrust will do our best to work with you if your accommodation has issues. 



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

RENTING

I messaged a host, but they didn't reply to my messages. What should I do?

Unfortunately, hosts don’t always respond promptly to messages. We recommend sending messages to a few listings you are interested in, and requesting to book if you are particularly serious to make it easy for them to accept.

Is every listing I see in the search results available?

Yes, this should be right. RenTrust is trying very hard to make sure post owners close their listing once it is rented out. However, on occasion there might be a time delay between when someone confirms they are renting the place and when a property closes out.

What is included in the listing price?

During this pilot, prices on RenTrust are displayed in weeks. Every price on RenTrust should include rent and utilities, if utilities are included. Post owners should divide their total monthly rent and utilities by four weeks.

When will I see the exact address of my booking?

Hosts should only include zip codes in their postings to give you a general idea of its location. In order to protect our hosts’ privacy and safety, we recommend to hosts to only disclose their full addresses once you have a confirmed booking request with them.

If I send multiple booking requests, is there any way I’ll get stuck paying for more than one booking?

No. The way it works is that you can put in a request to a host and get denied. You can put in a request and it gets accepted, in which you also have to accept the transaction after. Before your second accept, no money is transferred. You can put in multiple requests as long as you only accept one.

My booking request got accepted. What next?

Awesome! Your credit/debit card will be charged upon acceptance and Stripe will hold the payment until you mark the transaction as complete. RenTrust encourages you to wait until the first day you move in to “mark as complete” and release the funds to your host.

I have a confirmed reservation. How do I get a key to my new place? What time can I expect to move in on my move-in date?

Once your reservation is confirmed, it is between you & your host to determine the easiest way to exchange keys, get access to your new home, and coordinate move-in & move-out.

What happens if I need to cancel my reservation?

If you have already sent a request and are waiting for their response, we recommend sending them a message ASAP requesting them to decline the request. However, after a request has been accepted, we strongly discourage cancellations. RenTrust fees cannot be refunded after this time.

Also, we take the community aspect of RenTrust serious. Let’s be mindful of each other.

What happens if I book a place, and when I show up, it isn't as described? Is there a remedy for the situation?

Yes. RenTrust has you covered. First, do not mark your transaction as complete until you have accessed the home. If the place is not as described you will receive a full refund for the duration of your stay. Additionally, please reach out to us at hello@rentrust.com and we will work with you to resolve your issues as best as we can.

A host declined my request? What should I do?

Hosts have full discretion over who does or doesn’t get to stay in their listing. Your request could have been declined for a number of reasons (i.e. their place is no longer available). We suggest you keep messaging other hosts and sending booking requests.


HOSTING

Why should I use RenTrust to sublease my place?

RenTrust is more secure than alternatives like Craigslist, Facebook, or subleasing offline. Our secured payment platform guarantees safety with your banking information and that money will be transferred in a timely manner. RenTrust truly believe that by only allowing students to join our platform, we are building a community that is willing to work together.

How do I list my place on RenTrust?

First, create a profile and confirm your .edu email address. Once you have done that, a RenTrust administrator will approve you to post within 24 hours. It takes less than 5 minutes to create your post and you’ll be well on your way to a stress free move! Below we have provided suggestions for making your post successful.

RenTrust highly recommends only using your zip code in the “location” of your post. As of now, location will display open to all potential guests.

1. Listing Title (This title will appear on Facebook & Twitter shares)

  • Neighborhood, City, Adjectives for home-type
  • Example: Shadyside, Pittsburgh Cozy Townhome

2. Price - Per week 

  • Divide your total monthly rent by 4 weeks

  • Please remember to include utilities in your total

3. Detailed description (Recommend creating listing in this order for efficiency)
  • Availability - The very first line in all caps, followed by whether the dates are negotiable or not
  • Utilities - If there are included utilities that are not in the checkbox selection insert that information here
  • Additional Amenities -  If there are additional amenities that are not in the checkbox selection insert that information here
  • Brief description of the neighborhood that would be important to a student interning in the area (access to buslines, popular business areas, grocery stores, dining, etc)
  • Brief description of the areas in the home they have access to

4. Utilities Selection
- Only select utilities you are expecting to include in the total weekly rent

5. Location - This is visible to all users. Highly recommend only using zip code in this section. You can share exact location when you approve a member to stay in your home.

6. Photos - Include at least 3 high quality photos, the bedroom(s), bathroom(s), and kitchen.
  • Make sure the areas are clean and organized, showing furniture that is staying
  • Remaining options - Self explanatory

Do I have total control over the price of my place? And how do I know I’ll get paid by a guest?

  1. You have total control. And you can change the price at any time by heading to Edit Listing. We handle all payments from guests through a 3rd party vendor, and money will be deposited to your bank account. See the payments section for more detail.

I received a booking request. How do I accept or deny it?

After a booking request is sent, you have 3 days to accept or deny it, before it expires. Go to your inbox and you should see two options: “Accept this request” or “Not at this time”.

I have multiple requests to book my place. If I accept one, what happens to the rest?

Once you have accepted a booking, go back into your inbox and mark other requests as “Not at this time.” After you have finished clearing out the other requests, go into your post and select “Close listing.” This will close the listing to all other potential guests. Please be respectful of the RenTrust community by following these steps.

What’s my responsibility as a host? What should I do once I’ve accepted a booking?

As a host, you are expected to provide a clean, livable, and well-kept accommodation for your guest. You are also responsible for providing your guest access to your place & being communicative throughout the duration of their stay, especially if there are any issues.

Why does it take up to 7 business days after a guest moves in before I get paid?

Stripe, our payment processing vendor, holds transactions for this time to assure quality and accuracy.

My place is no longer available. How do I remove it from the market?

All you have to do go into your listing and click "Close Listing".


MESSAGING

What info can I, or can I not share in messages?

Share information that you feel will allow the guest or the host to make an informed decision. RenTrust has a zero-tolerance policy on harassment within our platform. Any messages that are considered to be offensive will result in a ban from the platform.

Why should I send a message before submitting a booking request?

It is always good to share a little bit about yourself so that the host can get to know you a bit better than a generic profile (Although we highly recommend updating your profile with a photo). RenTrust is more than a marketplace, it is a community. Messages between hosts and guests make the transaction...well...less transactional.

Can I send photos or videos through messages?

Nope. For the beta version, we only allow messages with text.

Will I ever be able to see my guest or host’s last name, phone number, or email?

After a booking request is accepted, host and guest should continue communicating through messaging system so if there are any issues RenTrust can intervene.


PAYMENTS

When do I get paid? When will I be charged?

After the host accepts the buyer’s request to book, the money collection process will begin. For the beta version, the entire amount of the transaction is charged to the buyer when the host accepts. Seller receive the funds once the buyer marks the transaction as complete. We encourage buyers to mark the transaction complete on the first day of move in if there is a need to dispute the charges.

The bank transfer process can take up to 7 business days before the money is distributed either in or out of your bank account.

*if your request expires or is disputed/denied by the host/guest, the transaction is cancelled.

As a guest, when exactly does my payment happen?

When you request to book a stay on RenTrust, you will be prompted to enter your card info. After the transaction is confirmed by your host, the money is transferred to Stripe, where it is held until you “mark transaction complete.”

As a host, when exactly do I receive my payout?

You will receive your payout within 3-7 business days after the guest marks the transaction as complete, typically on the first day they move in.

Can I negotiate on a monthly price with my host or guest?

Sure! Once a host sets a price, it is not permanent. If there’s a negotiation in which both parties agree on a price, the host can reflect that price by editing their post and changing the weekly rent.

What payment types are accepted?

We currently accept all major credit cards and debit cards.


SECURITY

How do I know that my payment information is safe?

RenTrust uses Stripe, a payment processing third party vendor that secures every transaction. Your account information is only entered into Stripe, neither RenTrust nor Sharetribe (our hosting platform) store your payment information.

What About My Landlord Or The Leasing Office?

We encourage you to read your lease and find out if you are allowed to sublease your home. RenTrust wants you to avoid paying for two leases in two different cities. However, the responsibility to notify your landlord is entirely up to you.

Do you have customer support?

If you have any issues please contact hello@rentrust.com at anytime or at (480) 420-7374 Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm ET.