Tenants Union of Victoria launches crowdfunding campaign to finance property rating website

Tenants Union of Victoria launches crowdfunding campaign to finance property rating website
Tenants Union of Victoria launches crowdfunding campaign to finance property rating website

Would you want your investment property to be rated by your past tenants? It’s time for this to happen, according to the Tenants Union of Victoria.

They’re looking to launch Rate Your Rental, via a crowdfunding Pozible campaign, what they’re calling the Trip Advisor of residential rental properties.

The newly launched campaign, which as of writing has raised $979, requires $30,000 in funds to build the site, as quoted by a web developer. It has 59 days to achieve this target.

The new site, RateyourRental.com.au, will allow tenants to check past tenants’ ratings before they’ve signed the lease. It may include details about your property such as horrible neighbours, mould issues, high electricity bills or “that your new home is structurally unsound and sinking”. These issues, they note, are those that aren’t present at inspection.

The ratings will be through a star-rating system, out of five, for a number of aspects of the property. Comments around qualitative points of that rental, including outstanding repairs, standard of fixtures and fittings, heating, air conditioning and energy efficiency, will also be included.

Perhaps it will encourage some landlords to up their game; perhaps it will allow a platform for disgruntled tenants to vent their spleen.

Either way, it’s unclear if investors can “opt out” of having their property on the site – the internet has a long memory and when they come to sell those ‘bad neighbours’ that may have long moved could put off prospective future buyers.

The Tenants Union of Victoria is calling it a “game changer” – assisting tenants, saving them valuable time and money.

Advertising options are available on the site, including for those who donate $2,500 and over.

With subscriptions offers available, it appears that, should funding be received, a January 2015 launch is expected. They’re also currently looking for volunteers, advertising for bloggers to share the message, moderators to review the comments on the new site and web developers.

The URL is currently registered to White Rabbit Studios Pty Ltd.

Similar websites currently exist, although appear largely unused in Australia to date - this includes Don’t Rent Me. More popular overseas options, such as RentalRaters, are gaining some traction.

CEO of the Tenants Union of Victoria, Mark O'Brien said that renters have been at the mercy of "lousy landlords and dodgy real estate agents" with this new site to redistribute some power back to tenants by replicating the approach in Australia.

 “There are over 1 million tenants in the private rental market in Victoria – Rate your Rental will give them the benefit of checking past ratings on a property before they’ve signed a lease. We think it will start to tip the balance of power back towards tenants, but we need your help to make it a reality” said O’Brien.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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