RentItOrNot.com, a website that helps renters find the apartment best suited for them, has added a few features to create a more user-friendly experience. The website, offers a platform to post reviews about apartments to provide more information for potential new renters,.
Much like Yelp or TripAdvisor, the website operates by allowing users to upload reviews of apartments they have lived in and are moving out of. This way, other potential renters will know if there are any pre-existing issues with the property that might not be made known to them by the property owner.
For students who have never rented before and may not know what to ask when scoping out potential apartments, this service could be a game-changer.
“I find what happens is a lot of renters, especially first time renters such as international students or young people, have no idea what they’re looking for when they’re first looking to rent,” Ken Purdy, a co-founder of RentItOrNot says. “So they pretty much sign the lease and get locked in.”
This comes with an array of trouble for those first-time renters who might be locking into leases for apartments that aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Sure, the living space is nice, but is the street quiet? Do the pipes freeze in the winter? Is there any elevator and if so does it go out a lot?
“You move into a place and what if it’s terribly loud?” Purdy says. “How’re you going to study? Now you’re stuck on campus till nine or ten o’clock at night.”
Through posting and reading reviews, the guesswork of trying to find the best apartment for your needs is taken out.
The service also holds property owners accountable for their services by making problems with the property known. This is especially useful because property owners can also post if they’ve fixed the issues on Rent It Or Not, resolving the issue for future renters who might not be interested in the property due to said issues.
What’s most important about the service is that it needs an input of information and reviews.
“The more people who use it, the better it gets,” says Purdy. “What we want to see is reviews for every apartment in Canada.”
By having this large pool of reviews to sort through, the chances of finding the best possible apartment for you grow in the process. That is why it is necessary not only to have those negative reviews that hold property owners accountable, but ones that show that good aspects of apartments too.
“It’s important for people to share their positive stories as well,” says Purdy. “You look at a lot of reviews on Yelp, Tripadvisor, Amazon, and there’s a lot of bad stuff on there, but it’s just as important to share the positive ones.”
In addition to the reviewing platform, Rent It Or Not now also has a Q&A feature that allows for more open discussion, taking inspiration from websites like Reddit. This feature, Purdy hopes, will help advance Rent It Or Not into a more user-friendly site that gives potential renters all the information they need to best help them find their dream place.
Along with the website, there is also an app available for IOS and Android. The service is free to use and already has a significant amount of reviews available to scan through.