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Lydia Winkler is co-founder of RentCheck, a software platform, which brings transparency to security deposit deductions and helps property managers.

Five questions with RentCheck

25 November 2020

4 minute read

Lydia Winkler is the co-founder of RentCheck, a software platform which brings transparency to security deposit deductions and helps property managers save time on inspections with easy self-guided inspections.

Lydia Winkler, Co-founder of RentCheck, a software platform that brings transparency to security deposit deductions and helps property managers save time on inspections with easy self-guided ones that anyone can carry out on their smartphone. RentCheck completed the Techstars Atlanta Accelerator in 2019.

Lydia is also the founder of REEP Now (Relief Effort for Earning Parole) a nonprofit that provides parole advocacy and support to people eligible for parole in Louisiana. Lydia holds a Juris Doctor degree and Master of Business Administration degree from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College where she played tennis all four years.
 

01. What was the inspiration behind your company?

I was uniquely familiar with the problem RentCheck is solving today. After my first year of law school I moved apartments and I never got my security deposit back. I thought it would be an injustice not to pursue it, so I represented myself and sued my former landlord in court. I submitted time-stamped photos of the move-out condition of the property into evidence and I won the case.

I realised the problem I faced applies to millions of renters each year. That feeling of injustice stuck with me and a few months later I met my now co-founder in business school who faced a similar problem on the property management side. Together we built a platform that standardises property inspections and adds transparency to security deposit deductions.

The sad reality is the least privileged people are disproportionately discriminated against in all aspects of housing. The rental market’s rampant inequity is reflected in greater upfront costs including non-refunded security deposits.

Today, the RentCheck team is on a mission to make renting fair and transparent.

02. How do you feel being a female founder gives your startup a unique advantage?

Being a female founder gives my company a unique advantage because we’re often underestimated. I like to surprise people.

03. How has the pandemic impacted your company?

We’ve seen accelerated adoption of our product. RentCheck enables social distancing because residents can complete property inspections without the presence of a property manager. We’ve had over 5,000 inspections completed by residents during the pandemic.

04. Tell us about a role model or mentor who has helped you along your journey.

Don Charlton, Founder of Kommute, is one of the most blunt people I have ever met. He continuously shows up for me and tells me what I don’t necessarily want to hear but need to hear. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re building a company and want to expand your product offering. Don always says: “You have to earn the right to expand your business.”

05. What is the one piece of advice you'd give to other women thinking about starting a company?

A lot of people will tell you no. Let the nos fuel your fire. Do not give up.

 

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