The Metropolitan Tenants Organization has developed a great new app called Squared Away. They're launching the app as a tool for landlords and renters communicate with one another, document any problems with a given unit and to create a paper trail of interactions that will, ideally, provide some protection for all parties involved.
From a recent Tribune article, the app,
...funded with a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, allows a tenant with a smartphone to take a time-stamped photo of a problem inside an apartment and send it, along with a form letter explaining the problem, to a landlord. It could be anything from mold growing along a baseboard to a leaking ceiling or even the serial number of a broken appliance. Tenants can rate how severe the problem is and can spell out on the form when the landlord can enter the unit to correct the issue.
For their part, landlords could use the system to track complaints and document what steps they’ve taken to correct them. They also could enter all their tenants into the system so they could notify tenants simultaneously of coming building inspections.
We'll be curious how the app works for people who have landlords (or tenants) who are difficult to reach and/or communicate with as Squared Away seems like a smart way to create accountability for and between people. Importantly, Squared Away will give landlords and renters a measure of control over the spaces they live in through their phones—providing a critical resource for people who do not have access to computers.
Do you have Squared Away yet? Let us know what you think.