Would a peer to peer ratings system improve tenant behaviour?

What if landlords and tenants were able to rate each other?

In this new world of the sharing economy, leaving a rating is common. We do it for our Uber drivers and for our AIRbnb hosts. We leave reviews when we go out to eat, when we receive exceptional service or when we buy a shonky product.

Rent sites like DontRentMe and Bad Landlord call out property owners who do constant drivebys or have unrealistic expectations. Reviews share horror stories of apartments “not fit for human habitation” and of “water pouring in through windows”.

On the flipside, Tenant Databases are currently run on a ‘for profit’ basis. Private companies offer access to information about rental applicants, some of which is taken from the public record e.g. whether or not the applicant has been bankrupt. They may also have information from agents in relation to breached tenancy agreements, unpaid rent or NCAT termination orders.

However, neither of these solutions are comprehensive. It is still very easy for tenants and landlords to get away with bad behaviour.

What a peer to peer rating system would look like

Imagine scrolling through realestatecom.au to view current properties for rent and being able to view the feedback of the last five tenants along with the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. A star system would rate the properties out of five and tenants could add Tripadvisor-style comments about the service they received from the landlord or property manager.

Similarly, tenants applying to rent a home or apartment could have an online profile sharing feedback about their previous accommodation. Landlords could rate their approachability, cleanliness and promptness with payments.

A solution for all?

This kind of rating system isn’t so far-fetched. Giving landlords the power to avoid tenants who are messy, destructive or likely to take off while owing rent puts the onus on people to treat rental properties with more respect.

Equally, agents and landlords who bring the entire real estate industry into disrepute will quickly find themselves out of business if they have an avalanche of one-star ratings.

This kind of review system would save everyone money and time. It would also serve to decrease the number of cases referred to the Tribunal.

Reviews work on platforms like AirTasker and eBay because they hold people accountable for the goods and services they provide. A similar setup for the real estate industry makes sense.

What do you think? Would a peer to peer rating system make your life easier or more difficult?

BDH Solutions have been buying and selling rent rolls for over 30 years. Keep up with our latest listings here.