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Housing

Landlord rating system hopes to make its mark on rental market

A new online platform hopes to make renting smarter by allowing tenants to review proprietors

Tenants can now rate their landlord or letting agent thanks to a new online review service.

Marks Out Of Tenancy gives the UK’s 12,000,000 renters the chance to review their landlord, letting agent, property and neighbourhood across a number of categories in the same style as travel websites such as TripAdvisor.

The site aims to help tenants make better decisions about the places they rent, before parting with their deposit. The platform also offers landlords and agencies the chance to respond to reviews as well.

Founder Ben Yarrow was inspired to start the platform after a poor experience with a landlord.

“I didn’t want anyone else to go through the same as I did,” he said.

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“My background is in tech and marketing and I’m destined to be a renter for the rest of my life. Combine those with a desire to make renting better for everyone and I came up with the idea of Marks Out Of Tenancy.”

Ben hopes that in the new year he can help renters take more control over their tenancy with the introduction of an image gallery to store before and after pictures, document storage for tenancy agreements and inventories as well as helpful legal guides to make the process smoother when issues arise.

“Your tenancy experience includes not only the property you’re renting but the neighbourhood you’re living in,” Ben said. “So the platform is built to take only around four minutes to tell your story and help future renters make informed decisions.”

The platform has already garnered support from the likes of Glasgow and Nottingham University Student Unions and from Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the British Property Federation. He said, “Landlords, like any goods or service provider should be seeking to deliver excellent customer service and customers should be free to talk about their experiences, and to have the platforms to do so.”

Big Issue founder Lord Bird is also trying to improve tenants lives with his own bill in Parliament. The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill awaits a second reading in parliament this week. The bill, which was hailed as “genius” before receiving cross-party backing  in October, would see rental payments a compulsory part of a good credit score.

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