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New Website Aims to Become Yelp For The Renter Community

by Jacqueline Zenn

Everyone has heard horror stories of nightmare rental scenarios and terrible landlords, and many renters have experienced these problems themselves. However, a new social review website for apartments, DoNotRent.com aims to combat the problems with renting by providing a place where renters can post reviews, warn of potential pitfalls in various buildings and share positive stories of exceptional units and great property management firms.

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UrbanTurf recently had the chance to chat with DoNotRent.com’s Chicago-based founder Mike Cerny about the site and the team’s plans for the future.

Cerny said that users of DoNotRent.com can sign up and post reviews and photos of apartments, rental homes and condos, student housing, military housing, and vacation rental properties – it appears that if you can rent it, you can review it using their five-star rating system that ranges from “Not That Bad” to “Absolute Nightmare.” Property managers and landlords are also subject to review, and they can sign up and respond to reviews as well.

Despite the site’s name, it is not just seeking out negative reviews, Cerny explained. “We want to show the true story – what is really happening in the building,” he said. “We are focused on becoming the voice of the tenant.”

DoNotRent.com
The DoNotRent.com Homepage

Users can message each other by posting and responding to reviews, or “chattering” (posting short notes in a forum-esque area of the site). Social media is also heavily integrated, as the aim is to allow prospective renters to reach out to current and former tenants in several different ways.

Right now, the site is open to reviews of properties throughout the U.S. as well as major vacation rental destinations; New York and Los Angeles are the two most popular cities currently. DoNotRent.com is not in DC just yet, but plans to expand to the nation’s capital are in the works.

In the coming months, a DoNotRent mobile app will be released for the iPhone, Android, and Window 7 OS’s, allowing users to search for reviews on the fly. Eventually, the site would like to partner with a listings site so users can read reviews and then click right over to see if a property or unit is available, and/or read reviews before visiting a rental.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new_website_aims_to_become_yelp_for_the_renter_community/3210

5 Comments

  1. Jimmy John Doe said at 11:27 am on Thursday March 24, 2011:

    The problem with rental review sites is most of the people that write reviews have bad experiences and complain.  Since moving to DC, I’ve lived in buildings with a 33% approval rating on multiple comparable websites, but I thought the place was outstanding.  It’s just the way it is, people don’t write enough positive reviews.

  1. SW said at 2:22 pm on Friday March 25, 2011:

    That’s too bad. There’s a certain lying, thieving jerkoff who has a bunch of rentals in SW that I’d love to write a few warnings about.

  1. BJ McKellar said at 11:49 pm on Saturday April 9, 2011:

    I agree with Jimmy.  Bad news spreads fast, even if it’s not a huge deal, something small, can be made huge.  As far as the website, it could be a good thing.  I own a local DC management company, and I know there are a lot of bad companies out there, and it hurts all of our business.
    Good luck!

  1. sally said at 7:56 pm on Tuesday May 10, 2011:

    If tenants are neglected by landlords, then making their complaints known online is a viable tool.

  1. deep creek lake vacation rentals said at 12:26 am on Tuesday May 28, 2013:

    In the event that tenants usually are overlooked simply by landlords, subsequently doing their own problems recognized on the internet is a practicable application.

Comments are closed.

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