Kijiji vs Happipad | A secure way to rent your room

Kijiji and Happipad are both websites that allow you to rent your room or parts of a home. Beyond this basic feature of posting a rental the two websites differ significantly. Read on to find out what is best suited for you.

1. Overview of Happipad and Kijiji

You are likely familiar with Kijiji, a general classified posting website owned by eBay, launched in 2005. Kijiji is a website that allows you to post virtually anything for sale, from cars to homes, jewelry, and even lawnmowers. Kijiji is a relatively unregulated platform and does not provide any guarantees or quality control on listings. Kijiji remains a popular option for people to post homes, apartments, and rooms for rent.

Happipad is a social enterprise founded in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada by a student-professor team from the University of British Columbia. Happipad was launched in 2018 as a service to make it safer and easier for mature home owners to rent spare bedrooms to vetted, like-minded people, for medium-long term stays. Happipad is a regulated and secure platform that only allows renting of bedrooms or parts of a home. Unlike Kijiji, Happipad is a rental specific service that provides a complete list of services and support during the entire rental period.

Kijiji’s service fees vary significantly from free up to $123 per listing, charged monthly. You can post up to two standard free listings, then Kijiji requires you to purchase a premium paid listing package. Kijiji does not offer any additional services beyond paid advertising. If you want your listing to remain visible on the first few pages you will likely need to purchase a premium advertising plan.

Happipad’s service fees are straightforward. Happipad is free to register and post. If you are successful finding a renter there is a one-time contract fee of $50. In addition, there is a monthly service fee of 5% deducted from your monthly rent. Happipad provides many more services to make it a complete solution including background screening and identity verification of renters, automatic rent collection (rent automatically deposited in your account), legal rental contract generator, and support with any problems or conflicts with your renters.  

If you are looking for a basic free option and are not picky about who you rent to, Kijiji will likely meet your criteria. If you are more picky about who you rent to and want the peace of mind of having background screening and support, Happipad is a great option with a modest monthly fee.

Note: In most cases, service fees incurred from renting can be claimed against your rental income for a tax break

Kijiji is a generic listing platform and includes all types of properties from entire homes to boarding houses, sublets, and room rentals, you can find virtually any type of rental on the platform. Kijiji has multiple listing categories to post your rental, and geographic regions to post your property. You must ensure you correctly select these categories or your listing may go unnoticed. Prices vary significantly on Kijiji and vary depending on market conditions.

Happipad is intended as a home-sharing or co-living platform that only offers rental options within shared homes. Rentals are done by the bedroom with access given to a kitchen, a private or shared bathroom, and access to shared common areas of the home. Prices on Happipad are generally affordable and intended for longer term stays with rent prices usually ranging from $500 to $1000 per month. All properties on Happipad go through a review process and have security checks completed on Hosts.

Note: Properties on Kijiji are not screened or vetted for quality or compliance. If you are looking to rent a place through Kijiji you should take extra precautions to ensure it is a legitimate property.

4. Rental terms and evictions

Kijiji only serves as an advertising site and provides no assurances, guarantees, or support for rental arrangements found through their website. Rental arrangements in most instances will be governed by your provincial residential tenancy laws. In the event of room rentals and roommate arrangements you may be exempted from residential tenancy and may have limited to no support available for conflicts or evictions.

Happipad rental arrangements are classified as home-sharing and are not subject to the residential tenant act in most cases, providing more freedom and flexibility. Happipad provides full support during the entire rental term, including support for any disputes, conflicts, late or unpaid rent, or damages. Happipad has a minimum rental term of one month and can start/end any day of the month. All rental terms are fixed length where the renter is required to vacate, however an option is given to extend rental contracts if desired.  Happipad sets out clear rules for ending rental arrangements early if required, including a 48 hours for safety concerns, 10 days for unpaid rent, and 21 days for conflict or cause. Evictions of Happipad guests are simple and do not require court orders like typical evictions for tenants, Happipad will provide support with this process if required.

Kijiji is an open public platform with all rental postings being visible to anyone on the internet. This attracts a diverse array of people looking for rentals on Kijiji from all walks of life. You will not be able to control who will see your contact information and message you. It is a common strategy for renters on Kijiji to send dozens of inquiries to different properties, this often results in unresponsive renters as their attention has moved on. You can find good renters through Kijiji, however extra care should be taken when screening and interviewing.

Happipad is targeted towards renters who care more about safety and quality of their rental arrangement. Typical Happipad renters are mature students, young working professionals, and older adults (55+). Happipad is a closed platform meaning only registered users will be able to see your rental listing and submit rental inquiries. Hosts are able to specify if they only want male or female renters, this will only permit the selected genders to view the listing and apply. Happipad includes personal profiles and personality assessments of each person so you can easily see if you share common interests, lifestyles, or personality traits. As well, you can view renters background screening report to give you peace of mind.

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