A TripAdvisor-style reviews service that enables landlords and tenants to rate each other a month after the tenancy begins and again when it ends, has been launched.
The online service has been created by proptech firm HomeRenter, a residential lettings platform that went live in November last year, backed by a homes developer and with support from a national and regional newspaper group.
HomeRenter says it aims to use elements of the TripAdvisor and Airbnb models to “modernise” the private rental market, and says its research reveals that 81% of tenants and 88% of landlords would like to be able to rate each other.
“In a connected world, consumers have become accustomed to being able to read ratings and reviews, from holiday lets to taxi rides, to inform all major purchase decisions,” says HomeRenter CEO Will Handley (pictured, above).
“In the rental sector, this concept has scarcely landed. Choosing where to live is an incredibly important decision which no-one wants to get wrong.”
On his site landlords can rate tenants on the punctuality of their rental payments, behaviour, how they treat the property and how quickly they report maintenance and repair issues.
At the end of the tenancy, landlords can also rate tenants on the state of the property after they’ve left, all of which generates a score that’s added to their profile on the site.
But it’s not all about the landlords – renters can use a five-star system to rate the property including value for money, how well it’s maintained, local transport links and how fast the landlord fixes problems.
HomeRenter’s new service has the backing of alternative deposits provider Dlighted, whose founder Ajay Jagota (pictured, left) says: “I’ve been a little sceptical of some previous attempts to build databases of rated lettings properties as standalone websites, but it will be interesting to see how this fares in a transactional site.”
“What’s indisputable, however, is that both landlords and tenants are looking for new and alternative solutions to the traditional ‘referencing plus security deposit’ approach.”