Renterinc

renterinc.com is an online landlord reference verification system.

It lets landlords search and review their tenant's rental history. It's free and legal.

Overview & Requirements

This site is an online landlord reference verification system. The client wanted to have a system in place where a landlord can request a reference from the previous landlord of a tenant regarding different security and behavioural aspects of the tenant to make sure the tenant is fit to be allowed to stay in his/her property.
Detailed Requirements
Tenant provides his details and present landlord registers and feeds the data onto the system

The tenant will provide the name and email ID of the past landlord. The present landlord will go into the system and needs to register a request for reference. Once he registers, he can fill out a form with the details of the property, his own contact details and will enter the name and email ID of the landlord he is requesting information from.

Past landlord receives notification and submits a reference

Once he submits the form, an email will be sent to the past landlord. From the email sent, the past landlord can click on the link and come to the site. There are two cases. If the past landlord is already registered, he will see a login form from which he can login and then fill out the verification form. If he is not already registered in the site, he sees an additional verification screen, where he needs to confirm his authenticity by entering the email. This ensures that someone can’t randomly copy the verification link and gain access. once the past landlords completes this step he can then fill out the information form and submit reference. The system then at the end of this step, prompts him to register if he is not already a member of the site.

Detailed search mechanism to view feedbacks by other landlord

There is a detailed site mechanism for the submitted references. Once you search by tenant name, past landlord name or requesting landlord name, you see a stripped down version of the submitted references. To view the details of the submitted references, user needs to enter the date of birth as well. This is done to ensure that one who is searching has a valid reason to do so, and also that he has the legitimate information to access the search results. The references which is either submitted, requested by the current user gets displayed in the full view by default.

Other advanced features

There are other advanced methods like creating a digital signature (which subsequently gets emailed as attachment), a detailed PDF report generation which is emailed to the requester as well as sender.

Architecture

Considering the requirement, Drupal was our preferred choice in terms of the framework. The client was aware of the framework and we educated him more and finally he was convinced to use Drupal considering its huge benefits. The project was mostly custom coded. Most of the reference forms and the validation mechanisms were completely custom coded using the Drupal core APIs - most importantly the Field API and Form API + Form API Ajax framework. There is extensive use of views for the listings, Search API + Apache SOLR usage for the search mechanism and extensive use of rules for the emails sent out. We preferred rules for email send out because of its ease in configuration, keeping an eye on the extendability of the system and accommodating the changing client’s needs as initially he was not being able to visualise well the information and mechanism of the emails that will be sent out of the system. Also we needed to attach files that were generated in other steps that needed to be included in the email.

Also, the client was very picky about the site design as this was meant to look simple yet elegant, taking care of the corporate housing agencies as well as individuals meant to rent out their property.

Challanges

The major challenge was to implement a communication system between different landlords in reference to verify a tenant before giving him/her property on rent. There were other advanced methods also to be implemented. Also creating a digital signature (which subsequently gets emailed as the attachment), a detailed PDF report generation which is emailed to the requester and the sender.

Outcome

The project turned out to be great. The backend and configuration flexibility that came with using a framework like Drupal, our clients Shone Bright and the Chest were very happy with the system. There was a month-long beta period for this product and client received some very positive feedbacks from their customers.

Automated process with hassle free and intuitive workflow

Detailed search mechanism to view feedbacks submitted by other landlords.

Access to documents and uploaded digital signature's download were restricted with security.

Advanced functionalities like creating an online digital signature, a detailed PDF report generation which is emailed to the requester as well as sender.

Extensive search powered by Apache SOLR

Site looks simple yet elegant

2438

Lines of code

180

Coffee Consumed

3

Members in the Team

3990

Hours Used

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