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Rate or Hate your Landlord?

by James Cole

As a property undergraduate I recall sitting in damp digs smoking roll-ups wondering why I was reading about the the history of Landlord and Tenant Law when I could have been shooting pool in The Ship and sinking pints of cider for less than the price of a load in the laundrette.

The purpose of Landlord and Tenant Laws, I learned, are to balance the rights of both landlord and tenant.  With this island’s history rooted in a feudal system where peons lived in hovels at the pleasure of the landed gentry the tenancy laws handed protection to the people with regards their home.  Now we have the European Court of Human Rights and are kicking The Peers out of parliament in favour of Our Peers (in principle anyway).

We also have the Internet, access to more information than ever and we are replacing mob justice with blog justice as brands and behaviour are discussed online – favouring consumer power over public hangings.Rate or Hate your landlord logo

On The Modern Estate Agent blog, Martin Smith recently wrote about the importance and difficulty of managing online reviews for Estate Agents.  Well, Landlords may quiver in their boots now as a new website Rate or Hate your Landlord encourages tenants (yes you guessed it) to rate or hate their Landlord – publicly.Landlords and Estate agents your online reputation is important

PR companies talk of online reputation management, which is fine for big business, but now your small business reputation may sink or swim based on what people are saying about you on social media sites such as facebook, twitter and ratings websites.

From a philosophical perspective you could argue that this is the most virtuous of virtual yardsticks, encouraging fair play and holding business to account in a way not seen since Anne Robinson presented Watchdog and supplementing the statutory rights applied by the Landlord and Tenant Laws.

Or, you could argue that small businesses will become slaves to public opinion and we’ll all start airing our dirty laundry in public.

After all customers are sometimes wrong, Tenants and Landlords can both lie and their are two sides to every argument.  The consumer has nothing to lose posting an anonymous review for a perceived injustice, whether real or not – the business does not share the anonymity and has to live or die buy its reputation.

And as for those damp student digs?  The day we left, the kitchen ceiling fell to the floor – literally.  We lost all our deposits – mainly to replace mattresses and re-seed the postage stamp lawn where excessive wear and tear (football) had resulted in a bald patch – supposedly costing hundreds of pounds.  If only there had been an outlet for us to vent our fury and shame our greedy Landlord.

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8 Responses to “Rate or Hate your Landlord?”

  1. Chungy says:

    what an amazing idea. I wish the site was around when I use to rent, would have saved me alot of hassle & living in various hell holes over the year…

    Just a brilliant idea & website..

  2. Rob says:

    Ahr, the good ol’ days! Happy memories.

    Lets not forget the shower which had to be replaced (previous house), the broken pantry door (my fault) and the shameful attempt to spot repaint.

    As you say both Tenants and Landlords can be in the wrong. I would say that it really important that we are as honest as possible when reviewing our peers as none of us are perfect.

    p.s. we were thoughtful enough to poke a hole in the ceiling to let the water come through into a bucket before going out parting for the night!

  3. marco says:

    The previous government talked about doing this, but came under so much pressure from the national landlords association and other landlord groups that the idea never really got off the ground. The threat of legal action is so severe that the government decided against it. Good luck to this site though, I just hope they’ve got good lawyers and a very large legal budget!

  4. Good concept but if one makes a mistake and gets a bad review is that fair? As alot of people have good intentions but sometimes slip up..

  5. The idea is fabulous! I think this will also get shape up in near future. Thanks for the information!

  6. Helen says:

    I think it`s a very clever idea. i think it`s helpful to get some sort of information about the landlord or the managing agent you are renting the place from. i personally had a very bad experience with my past managing agent, and if i had known it before, i would have rented through them. The day we actually moved in, the tenants who were moving out were still there , and they actually said to us: “Good luck with this managing agents , they are the reason why we are moving out.” I was absolutely lost for words at that point but they were right. Probably if I had known it before, I wouldn`t have moved in there or at least would have wanted to find out why were the previous tenant so unhappy. It` s like when you book a hotel, you would like to read reviews beforehand, to know if it`s worth to book it or not. Currently i`m still renting, it is through an agents once again and they are very good at what they do, and I would like other people to know that.

  7. Moyra says:

    rateorhateyourlandlord is like property tripadvisor. i like:)

  8. Si says:

    Nice article! I’ve been watching rateorhateyourlandlord for a while and was disappointed when it went away for development. After a few months of this, I started developing my own take which I just opened out at TenantTales.com

    I’ll be trying to find that balance point between the tenant and the landlord. Firstly, by requiring tenants to use their Facebook name (or at least a shortened version) to avoid ‘sock puppets’. Later, I’ll be adding a right-to-reply so that landlords can put their side of the story. Ultimately, I’m aiming to help good tenants and good landlords find each other.

    Would love to hear your ideas about how to make the site as useful as possible!

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