Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 16.54.48North East-based Road 51 – the UK’s first online portal that helps students to easily find private accommodation in university cities across the country – has launched this week.

With many students choosing to study at university away from home in towns and cities that they have little prior knowledge of, making an informed choice about where to live can be difficult, especially if they do not want to live in university halls.

This situation is also an issue for international students, who often have no way of reaching letting agencies and private landlords that are not associated with their university before their arrival in the UK. Research has shown that large numbers of international students, especially post graduate students, prefer to live off campus, whether that is because they are bringing their family with them or they plan to live with other students from their own culture.

Road 51 aim to bridge this gap, linking prospective students to private accommodation they may otherwise not have been able to view. The portal also gives as much detail as possible about each property that is listed, from the amenities available nearby, to detailed images and videos of properties, meaning that there are no surprises when students make a viewing. Ratings and feedback from previous tenants can also be viewed, so students can trust that properties will be exactly as advertised.

The online portal acts as an advertising platform for property management companies and sales agents, and, unlike other popular property listing websites, it can also be used by private landlords who have smaller property portfolios.

Road 51 founder and CEO, Bo Tsang – who owns a successful letting agency, is an experienced private landlord and a former Newcastle University international student himself – is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese and has connections across Asia which have provided Road 51 with a pipeline of incoming international students who are keen to live in private accommodation.

Bo secured funding from Newcastle Science City for the portal’s launch after impressing business advisors with his unique concept and business plan.

Bo Tsang, founder and CEO of Road 51, said: “I am excited to announce the launch of Road 51. My experience as both a student landlord and letting agent made it clear that there was a need for a platform that would allow landlords like myself to reach this valuable market.”

“I hope that students will find our new website helpful in their search for properties that are right for them in areas that they are not familiar with.”

To find out more about Road 51, visit the website at www.road51.com