Website created by two Ontario residents helps tenants rate their landlords
Ever had to live with mice, mould or roaches thanks to a lousy landlord?
Renters in Canada have to deal with some ridiculous things, but a new website might be about to shake things up in the Canadian rental market.
Rate The Landlord is a review website that was created by two Ontarians to help improve landlord accountability.
The website enables users to anonymously rate their landlords and read reviews from others to help them make informed decisions about who to rent from.
Since its launch, Rate The Landlord has received lots of positive reactions from renters on Twitter.
Tenants unite! Help future tenants out by flagging red and green flags with your landlords. https://t.co/Dv2qNUXuKW— David (@ourjoymovement) April 28, 2023
Recommending this to all my Ontarian renter friends 😍😍😍😍😍https://t.co/XCyS0rDwEz— Ciel 🇵🇸 姗姗来迟 (@aerielist) April 28, 2023
The founders, who wish to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, say the website was inspired by personal experience.
"One of the founders had experienced a rough first rental when they moved to Toronto with neglectful landlords who often put their health and safety at risk," they said.
At first, they thought they had simply been unlucky, but when they moved to another property in Toronto, they found their new landlord to be equally negligent.
Approaching others in the community, they heard even more horrifying stories about bad practices across the city.
They concluded that a lack of transparency was allowing landlords to avoid accountability for their actions (or lack of when it comes to repairs).
"I've often joked that you can spend $5 on a hot dog and write a review about it, but if you give away half of your monthly income to a landlord, you don't have the same opportunity to share your experience," they said.
Having partnered with a co-founder they met on Reddit, the pair decided an online review database would be the simplest way to tackle the problem.
A week after the launch of Rate The Landlord, the founders say the website has been more successful than they could have imagined, with thousands of people visiting the website each day.
They hope Rate The Landlord can continue to grow to help foster tenant solidarity across Canada.
"The more we talk openly about housing, the greater our collective desire will be for progress," they said.
In its first week, the website has already amassed over 1,000 reviews and some of them are pretty funny.
One user referred to their landlord as "more pompous than a Greek god."
Another reviewer had some very simple advice to prospective renters about their landlord, "Just don't – PLEASE – just don't."
Not every review has been negative; one user actually liked their landlord, calling him a "10/10 dude."
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