Landlord review platform raises concerns among landlords in Ontario.
A pair of Ontario residents have launched a new review website for tenants – and landlords are worried it could be ripe for abuse.
Rate The Landlord allows renters to anonymously rate their landlords and property management companies on five metrics: Health and Safety, Respect, Tenant Privacy, Repair, and Rental Stability. The site has already received submissions from across Canada and the United States.
According to the founders, the aim of the site is to give tenants more transparency when choosing a place to live. Tenant activist groups have welcomed the website’s launch, arguing that the tight rental market in Ontario often forces tenants to accept substandard accommodation – and delays at the Landlord Tenant Board make it difficult to resolve issues.
But landlords worry that false or misleading reviews could put prospective tenants off their properties and lose them income. While the site owners say they will remove defamatory comments, reviews on Rate The Landlord are not verified in any way.
What can you do about reviews?
Some landlords have decided that the best defence is a good offence. Varun Sriskanda, board member of Small Ownership Landlords of Ontario, said that his organisation will request an investigation into the website by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
Rate The Landlord could also run out of steam naturally after the initial surge of interest. Older websites like Rent It Or Not and Should You Rent? have tried to do the same thing but made little impact due to a shortage of reviews.
But if landlord reviewing does gain traction this time, property managers will play an important role in preventing negative reviews and encouraging positive ones. Typically, unhappy users are more likely to leave a review than happy ones. Encouraging all tenants to review their landlords and property managers could result in a better balance of positive reviews.
Property managers can also target specific reasons for tenant dissatisfaction. Many negative reviews left on Rate The Landlord come down to poor or neglected maintenance. Allowing tenants to submit maintenance issues through an online portal with automated notifications ensures that none slip through the cracks. When property managers use technology to cut down on time-consuming admin, they also have more time to arrange repairs and resolve other tenant issues.
PayProp’s integrated maintenance feature makes maintenance management seamless for property managers and helps you boost tenant satisfaction with timely repairs. Tenants can submit maintenance requests directly online, and you, the tenant and the landlord all receive automatic updates whenever a ticket is opened or updated. You can also add invoices and create payments within the maintenance hub, allowing you to manage all your maintenance needs from one place.
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