Frustrated at the poor standard of some privately rented accommodation in St Andrews, students have taken matters into their own hands and joined the town up to a website where tenants can rate and review their lodgings.
Marks Out Of Tenancy is a national website which does for rented accommodation what TripAdvisor has been doing for hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions for years.
St Andrews Students’ Association says Marks out of Tenancy “will allow students 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 … good landlords and letting agents will be rewarded for the service they provide, standing out amongst those who might seek to exploit a market of mainly first-time renters”.
Paloma Paige, President of St Andrews Students’ Association, explains:
“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. Marks Out of Tenancy provides them the platform to do just that. I look forward to seeing our students utilise what is a valuable resource and tool for them, to better the student experience in private accommodation.”
Ben Yarrow, founder of Marks Out Of Tenancy, added:
“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.”
St Andrews Students’ Association believes that more information enables their students to make better informed decisions. Help to improve the welfare of future tenants by passing down your renting story on Marks Out Of Tenancy.
Councillor Linda Holt welcomed the initiative:
“Ten out of ten for St Andrews Student Union for this initiative. This is a fantastic initiative to give students and others in St Andrews information about the letting market, which has provided ripe pickings for unscrupulous landlords. It also provides valuable information to Fife Council’s Housing Compliance Team. Above all, this site, like Tripadvisor, will force landlords to up their game if they want to attract tenants.”
Students can rate their landlord at https://www.marksoutoftenancy.com