The House Crowd recently launched as "a great new way you can invest small amounts in property via 'crowdfunding'. It's about investing together and sharing together. No banks. No expensive mortgage arrangement fees. No credit checks. And no property finder's fees." Your money is protected at all times, the website says, although the Financial Services Compensation Scheme won't bail out anybody in this set-up. It is, according to The House Crowd, "effortless" and "unique".
The idea is that investors club together and invest in "distressed" or repossessed property which is then refurbished and rented out. The House Crowd says investors will "typically" receive a fixed return of 6% net, plus 50% of the profit when a property is sold. It doesn't give any details about the tenants expected to pay these rents and who, one can only assume, will be chucked out when the speculators want to cash in. But it does give examples of rental yields of 11%-14% based on local housing allowance (ie the taxpayer).