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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.” 

Poll: Reviews are useful so agents must accept them


  • icon

    This should be welcomed. Especially at a time where we need ways to differentiate ourselves from the poor quality operators. Us good LAs should run with this and use it to heave out the lower quality outfits.
    (I also fail to see how this is controversial)

    S l
    • S l
    • 15 November 2018 09:08 AM

    not necessarily. you havent taken into account vindictive nasty tenants who damage the properties and refused to take responsibilities and make up excuses and lies to get out of paying to make good the damage. in my 15 years of rental, these kind of students are not short in supply. particularly those who once in front of me told the other girls that if they keep complaining about dust and rubbish and agree to have some improvement work done required for hmo but not sign anything to agree, they can later dispute and claim rent off. this is being told despite the properties being professionally cleaned with inventories, let through letting agents but manage by oursleves.

  • icon

    S I, that's a classic 'whataboutism' though.
    Of course there's always 2 sides to the story, yes there are renters across the whole spectrum, of all ages and demographics who aren't good, don't pay on time and damage property. We all know that. That's always used a 'whatabout' whenever reviews are mentioned, and it's a dangerous thing to do as it deflects from the problem: there are terrible LAs and landlords who give good ones a bad name.

    But look where we are as an industry.
    Cramped by legislation, bans, restrictions. Local authorities being told to counter the dodgy operators but given nothing to action or police their orders.
    Central and local government are unable or unwilling to intervene.

    So it's down to us good ones to show that we are different from the rest.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    I think with any review, there must be both sides heard.
    Preferably, an independent reviewer - web site would allay the vindictive concerns mentioned.
    But in today's online world of trip advisor to just about any online commentary, I imagine Agents, Landlords and just about any business will have to accept customer feedback
    ( the challenge is how to weed out that which is malicious or vindictively motivated )

  • S l
    • S l
    • 15 November 2018 16:36 PM

    There is nothing is good ones can do. Onsidering the LA had ample powers to suppress landlords n charge high rates for licensing considering they are paid anyway to do their job. If we landlord abide by the law n still get the brunt of it, there is only one way out, isn't it n leave the housing crisis to the L A n politicians who create it in the first place. We are only trying to get a retirement plan but giving LA too much power including criminal powers are way too high a price to pay. It's no wonder we are in crisis

  • icon

    Start selling up and get out of this game. Go for commercial units, better returns, fully repairing leases, much better.
    Let the clowns in the council departments go back to providing rented properties,, then seat back and watch it all collapse.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 15 November 2018 18:03 PM

    thats the plan but dont know the rules surrounding commercial letting and whole lot of new rules to abide although not as draconian as the residential lettings. funny enough. still its better than getting a criminal record for not fixing a smoke alarm that the tenant destroy because it beep everytime they cook and they failed to inform us to fix it because they dont want it to!!!


    Or just put a battery in!

  • icon

    Dispite cast iron proof that the tenant is a lying rent thieving lowlife backed up with photos, inventories, check in, check out, regular Inspection reports, the useless adjudicator still comes down in favour of the lying rent thieving lowlife who did a runner tenant.....Deposit Protection TDS toothless wage grabbers!!!

  • S l
    • S l
    • 15 November 2018 18:16 PM

    thats what we get from the public services paid from our own taxes. why??? are we putting up with this? do you know that you can actually object to go through the dps adjudication and go through court who will honour the evidence and the contract. now since the dps did that, you can dispute it on ERROR OF LAW and pursue the case through court to get your money back but lose the deposit.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 15 November 2018 18:18 PM

    the tenants rip off the smoke alarm and damaged it. so cant put the lid back and had to get a company to fit a new one costing £60 which tenant objected to pay and claimed dont know who did it although they are a group of friends renting whole house signing one contract

  • icon

    Balance and fairness is key to the platform. The idea is about providing a platform for real engagement.
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