Japanese Housing Giant to Begin Blockchain-powered Home Rentals
Sekisui House, Japan’s biggest housebuilder, says it will launch a blockchain-powered home leasing platform for its Sher Maison range – and could allow renters to sign contracts and pay utility bills using blockchain-based solutions directly from their smartphones.
Per Cnet Japan, Sekisui House says that the platform will be a “one-stop service” that comprises rental property inspection services, contract procedures and billing for electricity, gas and insurance. The company says it will use blockchain technology solutions from Nexchain, a blockchain consortium whose members include Japanese business heavyweights such as Hitachi and the Kansai Electric Power Co.
Sekisui House and Nexchain say they hope the platform will be operational within the current financial year (FY2020).
The platform, says the company, will allow tenants to create accounts and allow them to pay bills without the need to register with individual power, utility and insurance providers beforehand – potentially saving renters from time-consuming paperwork every time they move house.
House-hunters can also use the platform to book viewing appointment times, and the platform will also come with a “smart key” – which allows tenants to unlock their front doors using their mobile phones.
Japanese legal and industry regulations require that tenants prove their identity to utility providers, rental agencies and more – often needing to fill out paper documents. However, the company says that the blockchain platform will allow tenants to instead use a single, blockchain-powered identity solution.
The company last year moved into the British market with a deal with the government-run Homes England and Urban Splash incentives. Per an official UK government release, the move will see the Japanese home builder “deliver thousands of new homes across England.”