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Controversial review site claims to be able to identify 'bad agents'

A controversial review website which says it can be used to identify “good (and bad) letting agents” claims that its aim is to “improve renting for everyone.”

Marks Out Of Tenancy, which underwent its first relaunch last November, now says it has rolled out additional features to help provide a “balanced, important forum that brings tenants and lettings providers closer.”

It says it lists around 20,000 letting agents from across the UK and claims to allow users to access “genuine customer reviews to build up a picture of what the letting agency are like to deal with.”

The site seeks landlords, agencies and trade organisations to join for £24, and in return they have the ability to “respond to tenant reviews” and “proudly display your landlord association or affiliation badges.”

However, on another part of the site it admits that “We built Marks Out Of Tenancy as a space for tenants to support each other, so it makes sense that we're always on the lookout to collaborate with like-minded organisations.”

The site claims that to reduce the chances of potentially defamatory reviews going live, all tenant reviews are passed through a 'Bad Word and Defamation Filter'; the unnamed individuals behind the site also say: “We take all notifications of defamation very seriously and act on them immediately” and have a lengthy complaints procedure.

The site says it uses ‘Bayesian weighting’ to protect against the effect of very low and very high scoring reviews. In the example the site uses, it says: “The more reviews a landlord has, the more weight the reviews have. This means a landlord needs several 10-star ratings to get the ultimate 10 out of 10; It also means a landlord needs several 1-star ratings to get a 1 out of 10; The more reviews, the more weight the ratings have.”

You can see the site here.

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