A Bristol-based website that claims to be a TripAdvisor for tenants by enabling them to rate landlords, letting agents and property has gone live with ambitions to launch in the US, Australia and New Zealand.
The site, MarksOutOfTenancy.com, asks tenants to rate their landlord, property and area and also leave brief details about their experiences.
It asks tenants to rate the heating, décor and furniture, utilities, structural qualities, soundproofing and heating system, each out of ten.
Marks out of Tenancy then publishes summary pages for each property and names both the tenant and how long they have rented the property, and the landlord.
Rate letting agents
The site also enables tenants to 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.
Both landlords and agents will be able to respond to their reviews, whether good or bad, the site says.
Marks Out Of Tenancy has been under development for two years and was founded by Bristol-based Ben Yarrow (picture right, top) and Tom Dickinson (below), who say the idea came to them after a “negative experience” with a local landlord.
The pair found that while they could go online to rate holidays, hotels and restaurants, there was no comparable service for the rental market.
They say the reviews left by tenants on Marks Out of Tenancy won’t just be about highlighting property quality and landlord or agent behaviour.
Ben, who is the tech brains behind the website, says it will also enable landlords to understand better which are the best agents in an area, and also push up housing standards by sharing anonymised data with councils and housing charities.
“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 told The Negotiator.
“Your readers will be keen to know that our next update includes a stream of comments on reviews, in which the letting agent or landlord being reviewed can add more information and communicate transparently with the tenant.
“We’re well aware that this is a concept that may be met with some resistance and might make some letting providers feel uncomfortable, but are keen to work with landlords and agencies to demonstrate the positive impact it can have on your service.”
The site launched a month ago and to date 50 properties have been reviewed by tenants, almost half of them in Bristol where the business is based.