Controversial new website ruffling feathers of landlords and letting agents

There’s a new website offering tenants the chance to give their rental homes marks out of 10 – but some landlords are threatening legal action.

The ratings website, Marks Out Of Tenancy, was set up to “help people to make the best decisions about where they’re going to rent next”, and currently lists around 20,000 landlords and letting agents.

It aims to enable the estimated 12 million renters across the UK to share their views and give their rental properties scores out of 10 on things like the quality of landlord, agency, the property itself and neighbourhood. It also gives the landlords and agencies the opportunity to respond.

The site was founded by Ben Yarrow, who has had bad experiences with renting in the past.

“My background is in tech and marketing and I’m destined to be a renter for the rest of my life,” he said. “Combine those with a desire to make renting better for everyone and I came up with the idea of Marks Out Of Tenancy.”

Disgruntled landlords

However, Ben admits that there has been some negativity about the site, with some agents even threatening to take legal action after they’d seen bad reviews on there.

“We often get emails from landlords saying ‘take it down. I’m going to phone a lawyer’,” he said. “We were contacted the other day by a landlord saying, ‘I’m not this person, I’m not connected to this property’. We’ve got security checks in place to show if they’re really the landlord – we found that he was.”

He added: “Bad agents and landlords won’t like it – they’re never going to like it.”

There has been an increase in landlord crackdowns recently, and the government is bringing in new laws next year offering tenants more protection against eviction. The changes could make it harder for landlords to evict tenants, increase rent or refuse requests to have a pet, among other things.

One landlord, Fergus Wilson, made headlines earlier this month after his policy of banning “coloured” tenants was ruled unlawful in court.

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