Get ready to be rated, reviewing your landlord
For renters reviewing your landlord online is becoming increasingly popular. This post provides advice for landlords on handling landlord reviews.
Reviewing your landlord is becoming more and more popular in the rental market. In the same way TripAdvisor allows guests to review hotels, websites such as mylandlordreviews, thetenantsvoice and RentalRaters put landlords and their properties under the microscope.
Increasingly landlords may find renters discouraged by negative online comments, or encouraged by a glowing review.
If you see your property on one of these websites, it’s worth bearing in mind that people are always more likely to post negative experiences than comment positively.
There are steps you can take should you feel you’ve been treated unfairly on review websites. Most of these websites will have a fair use ‘take down’ policy. This means a landlord can make a complaint and ask for a comment to be removed. It’s worth noting that when making a claim most the websites will place the emphasis on the landlord to prove they’re in the right.
So, if you want a comment removed you’ll need ID as well as information to prove you’re in the right before the website considers removal. Some websites even go as far as to threaten landlords with legal action should they push for removal of comments under grounds of defamation. One website uses this scary statement to landlords raising an issue:
Warning: “Any statement you make may be used in court proceedings. Any false, misleading or inaccurate information provided by you may result in civil and criminal liability.“
However, if you have a genuine issue with comments that are false or misleading and you can supply supporting evidence, the website should take the comments down.
Say a tenant claims it took six months to repair a washing machine, but it was actually fixed in days. Just send a copy of the initial tenant email or log of their phone call and an invoice showing when repairs were made or the item replaced. It’s worth also noting sites can be slow in removing content. It may seem an unnecessary hassle on you as a landlord to disprove false allegations, but it could help save you time and money in the long run.
Why do you need to protect your online reputation? Well, firstly negative reviews may drive away potential renters. It could even help them drive down the rental price.
On the other hand, positive reviews could make it easier to rent your property and for a bigger profit. So, consider encouraging happy tenants to post a genuine positive review for you.