Introducing: openTenancy — Event Recap

For those who didn’t make it to our event Tuesday evening with the UoA Legal Tech Society, we have put together a recap highlighting the key points that were covered.

WHO ARE OPENTENANCY?

We are an open source platform that will contain a link to an automated interview which guides the user through common tenancy issues and outputs a document containing guidance on their legal rights and sign-posting the user to further advice.

WHY OPENTENANCY?

We wanted to create a website that helps to make the law more accessible — completely free, and completely open source. It breaks the law down into manageable chunks, explaining it in clear English. This stops the user from having to bounce between multiple articles to understand their legal rights, and instead puts the law back in the hands of the public.

WHY OPEN SOURCE?

Nathan Corr raised the (very true!) point that we could have capitalised on the idea and turn it into a for-profit website. Why didn’t we? We believe that we have unique skill-sets, and want to be able to combine them for good. We also noticed that many of our friends were coming to Amy for legal advice (especially because of COVID-19), and began to take note how most of the free legal advice available online is hard to access and understand without a law degree. So we decided to break it down, and get all hands on deck to create a website that can continue to grow — and hopefully pave the way for the future of law.

WHY HAVE BAMLEGAL SPONSORED OPENTENANCY?

BamLegal said that the driving force behind her decision to sponsor openTenancy’s server fees is that she believes in us, and loves how motivated and ambitious we are. She also loves the idea, and thinks that we have the potential to grow and make real change. Catherine highlighted that funding has been cut for legal aid, and that a website like openTenancy has the potential to permanently become the first point of call for those with tenancy advice.

HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

The main way is through Github! We need help combing through the available articles on the web, transforming them into decision trees that we can then code up into interviews. You can write as many questions, or as few, as you’d like. In open source everyone builds on each other’s work — tweaking and improving, which is what will happen with the decision trees submitted on the website. We don’t care if you submit them in bullet points or full prose, whatever is easiest for you (we can turn it in to full prose after!).

Do you have experience with Docassemble? Even better! You can help us go straight to coding up the decision trees. The platform is going to be created by the users, and we’ll only grow with the help of our contributors.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to our co-founders Amy Conroy or Ana Shmyglia on social media, or send us a message or email to owner.opentenancy@gmail.com. We’re also looking for those with coding experience keen on helping us code up the decision trees too so please do reach out.

Want to be notified when we launch? Sign up at opentenancy.co.uk/register.

We can’t wait to change the shape of the legal field, one contributor at a time

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