Controversial lettings review

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Controversial lettings review website wins backing from students

A controversial review website which says it can be used to identify “good (and bad) letting agents” has won the backing of a university’s student body.

Marks Out Of Tenancy, which was set up in 2016, says it lists around 20,000 letting agents from across the UK and encourages tenants to review both agents and landlords.

Now it has received support from St Andrews Students’ Association.

A statement from Marks Out Of Tenancy says: “Wanting to better prepare students for living in the private sector, the students’ association has partnered with Marks Out Of Tenancy to provide a platform for sharing experiences and to create transparency about living conditions.”

The website – which also includes information on local areas as well as properties, agents and landlords – claims to allow renters ”to make more informed decisions about who they want to rent from, where they want to live, and what to expect from an area before they sign their tenancy agreement.”

Paloma Paige, the university’s students association president, says: “From the ‘Rent Your Landlord’ survey we ran in 2017, we saw that our students had a real appetite to provide constructive feedback regarding their experiences as tenants. We recognised that by making such information available, students could help their peers navigate the local housing market.”

Meanwhile the website founder, Ben Yarrow, adds: “Balance and fairness is key to the Marks Out Of Tenancy platform, with landlords and letting agents enabled and encouraged to reply to reviews and open a meaningful dialogue with current and potential tenants. We want to improve the experience of all parties involved with the rental process. This is not about naming and shaming, but providing a platform for real engagement.”

This article first appeared in Letting Agent Today in Nov 2018.

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