Service is latest in long line of websites that enable tenants to review landlords and letting agents and are intended to help raise standards, but often struggle to gain traction or reviews.
Renters in Cardiff can now rate their landlord and letting agent on a new website aimed at empowering tenants.
The website joins a list of similarly well intentioned online initiatives in other cities not all of which have been successful. Marks Out Of Tenancy in Bristol and two national websites, AskTenants and RateYourLandlord are still going but StudentBricks, which set up five years ago, no longer has a website.
Rateyourlandlordcardiff.com lets tenants submit reviews – both negative and positive – with an option to upload photographic evidence and remain anonymous.
Reviews are then categorised based on which agencies or landlords are being critiqued, making it easy for renters to decide before signing contracts.
The site explains: “Submitting helps hold agencies and landlords accountable and lets first-time tenants know what they might be up against.”
Founder Shash Appan says: “The website came out of frustration of the council doing nothing to help renters in Cardiff and no real resource providing a dedicated platform to hold these agencies and landlords accountable.”
The launch follows recent TV show Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back where comedian Joe Lycett called out the city’s CPS Homes for deducting hundreds of pounds from two students’ deposits for alleged damage.
Lycett revealed a total of 30 students in CPS properties had been charged for damage they said they didn’t cause, but that when he visited the houses, found the majority of repairs hadn’t been done.
Following Lycett’s expose, CPS said on its website: “We have brought forward the process of working with departing tenants to better manage the hand-back process, specifically giving them a greater opportunity to put right themselves any damage that goes beyond ‘reasonable wear and tear’.
“While legitimate repairs will still need to be paid for by the tenants, we have moved to a position where more than 80% of student tenancies we manage do not involve a deposit.”