A new online property crowdfunding platform is offering potential annual returns starting from six per cent thanks to an innovative business model which provides access to previously off-market ‘proven performer’ rental properties.

Leeds-headquartered UOWN has been established by brothers Shaan, 26, and Haaris Ahmed, 23.

They have coined the term ‘proven performer’ to describe off-market rental properties which have yielded strong returns for a minimum of ten years.

The entrepreneurial duo believe UOWN is not only the first crowdfunder to offer investors access to ‘proven performers’, but also the first to give investors access to properties wholly-owned by the crowdfunder.

This allows UOWN to pay out rent to investors before the property has been purchased by the crowd.

Traditional property crowdfunding models connect landlords and developers with investors who pool their money to purchase a property.

The property is then rented out and investors get a proportionate return of the rental income, and returns from capital growth.

UOWN’s ability to provide access to ‘proven performers’ is down to its relationship with sister company, Parklane Group.

Founded 40 years ago, the £15m turnover Group owns and operates more than 2,000 student and professional beds across the country.

Also based in Leeds, Parklane Group sources and manages UOWN’s properties, uniquely integrating both the ‘proven performer’ property ‘hardware’ required for investment with UOWN’s ‘software’ in the shape of its online portal.

With a minimum investment of only £20 required, UOWN’s objective is to democratise property investment and deliver it into the reach of people who thought investing in property would never be achievable.

UOWN clients are expected to see a return just four weeks after their initial investment with the monies credited to their UOWN account and then payments are made every subsequent month.

“We established UOWN to challenge the old order of property investment and open up access to what, for many people, has been a closed shop," said the company's director Shaan Ahmed.

“UOWN aims to give millennials a foothold in a property market widely condemned as inaccessible for an entire generation.

"We provide peace of mind for those thinking about buy-to-let, but concerned about the hassle and expense it will bring.

“And anyone looking to potentially achieve a six per cent or more return on their money now has a more than viable alternative to invest in, especially in the current climate of ultra-low interest rates.”

Shaan is a London School of Economics graduate with a degree in economics and environmental policy, whilst Haaris has a degree in economics and management form the University of Oxford.

Haaris added: “Our vision for UOWN goes way beyond providing innovative, accessible investment opportunities for all.

"We intend to expand the business across the UK with the aim of becoming a private rental sector property developer, funded by our investors.

“This will enable us to provide them with further investment opportunities whilst simultaneously delivering accessible homes to help ease the UK’s chronic housing shortage.

“We expect to be able to provide further announcements on this and other exciting UOWN initiatives in the near future.”

Investing in UOWN involves risk, and returns are not guaranteed. Potential investors are asked to read and understand UOWN’s full risk warning before investing in any of the properties listed on the platform.

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