New website aims to be TripAdvisor for tenants
A website that aims to be a TripAdvisor for tenants, by enabling them to rate landlords, letting agents and property, has gone live.
The site, MarksOutOfTenancy.com, also lets tenants give marks out of ten for the heating, decorations and furniture, utilities, and heating system.
Reviews for each property are then published, naming both the tenant and how long they have rented the property, as well as the landlord.
The Bristol-based company was founded by Ben Yarrow and Tom Dickinson, and the duo have ambitions to expand to the US, Australia and New Zealand.
Tenants can also separately rate letting agents, marking them out of ten for communication, speed, quality of repairs, value for money, attitude and check in/check out abilities.
In future, the site will allow the letting agent or landlord being reviewed to comment, add more information and communicate with the tenant.
The site has been under development for two years and was inspired, say Yarrow and Dickinson, after a 'negative experience' with a local landlord.
Yarrow said: “I’d had a bad experience with a landlord – I ended up writing a message I hoped the next person in the flat would read.
“I couldn’t find anywhere online suitable to leave a review and thought, hang on, there’s a gap. It’s shocking that this site doesn’t exist.”
They say the reviews will also enable landlords to gain a better understanding of the best agents in an area, and ultimately push up housing standards.
Yarrow said: "If we’re to improve renting in the UK then it’s only going to come by adopting a varied approach and addressing the problems in a diverse fashion, we built Marks Out Of Tenancy to exist as part of this approach.
“Marks Out Of Tenancy can be a really useful tool when embraced by landlords and letting agents, to display real-life testimonials of high standards of service.”
He said the site was 'keen to work with landlords and agencies to demonstrate the positive impact it can have.'
A spokesman denied Marks Out Of Tenancy was a landlord / letting agent 'bashing site'.
They said: "We're working with all parties to offer an open platform where tenants, landlords and agencies can communicate, collaborate and improve the state of the private rental sector.”
The site launched a month ago and so far 50 properties have been rated, almost half of them in Bristol where the business is based.