Reviews of rental homes, estate agents and landlords
For too long good tenants have been at the mercy of lousy landlords, dodgy estate agents and shonky rental homes. By the time tenants discover the oven in their new rental accommodation is rubbish, the gas heater hasn’t been serviced in years and the landlord won’t do repairs, they are already stuck with a lease. We intend to change that.
Welcome to Tenants Are Customers, a new website featuring tenant reviews of rental homes, estate agents and landlords. Now tenants can learn about previous tenants’ experience with a prospective rental home during their search to rent, not after they move in.
Rental home reviews on Tenants Are Customers include safety standards, appliance quality, energy efficiency, comfort and liveability, while landlord/estate agent reviews are based on service levels ranging from respect for tenant privacy to repairs standards.
Tenants Are Customers aims to improve the standard of rental accommodation and services by forcing landlords to compete for the tenant’s dollar with quality goods and services, and to change the way we think about tenancy. It is free to use, completely independent and confidential. We don’t publish the names of reviewers or the dates of your tenancy.
Search to Rent
For your convenience, handy links to rental listings, including houses to rent, apartments to rent, and share accommodation may be found on our “Search to Rent” page.
Our “Tenant Help” page has links to information about tenant’s rights, tenant’s unions, bond authorities, legal aid for tenants, consumer affairs authorities, and a host of other handy resources to help tenants.
A Notice To The Landlord
In twenty-five years as a tenant, I have never known a landlord or real estate agent who honours their legal obligations to the tenant.
You have risked my life by a lively variety of methods – dodgy brick fences, unstable trees, falling concrete sheets, faulty ovens; ancient, unserviced gas heaters, reverse wired power points, failing smoke detectors and gas leaks you would not repair. I recall with particular fondness a promising combination of do-it-yourself electrical wiring, leaking gas and flooding water.
Because the law is an ass, you escape accountability. Tenants do not enjoy the same safety provisions as employees. While employers who endanger workers face fines of over three million dollars, it is cheaper for you to evict me illegally rather than conduct repairs necessary to my safety – I know because you’ve done it, and you got away with it.
Because the law is also an indifferent ass, I have never succeeded in seeing you prosecuted, penalised or fined a single cent for bond lodgement failures, illegal inspections, unlawful eviction, vengeful rent increases, criminal intimidation, violations of my privacy and refusal of repairs – though it hasn’t been for the want of trying.
Because the law has its head… in the sand, the notoriously unscrupulous real estate business is barely regulated and escapes compliance auditing. As there is no Real Estate Industry Ombudsman for tenants to complain to, the extent to which you habitually flout the law is known only to tenants. I have more recourse to complain about mobile phone providers than I have to report the landlord who jeopardises my safety then evicts me for standing up to them.
You maintain a market for your shoddy, dangerous products by coercing tenants and colluding with each other to blacklist those who would force you to meet your legal obligations.
You have illegally trespassed upon my home during the most painful and private moments in my life, and you got away with that too.
Through it all, it has been my privilege to pay you full rent while being the only party to honour our lease agreement. I’ve never failed to do the right thing by you, and you’ve never failed to rip me off.
You said you thought you could get away with it because I am a ‘nice person.’
You told me if I didn’t like it, I could get out.
Bad news, Dopey: I had a better idea.
The term ‘landlord’ just got booted out of the national lexicon. You are merely service providers, just like any other, and it is the privilege of tenants, as your customers, to force you to succeed or fail on the merits of your goods and services. From now on, you’ll have to compete for our dollar, and you can expect to get the tenants you deserve.
From now on, tenants are customers.
- Tenants must have an account to post reviews. Your personal details will not be published or shared with any third party. We don’t ask for the dates of your tenancy, and reviews appear anonymously.
- Only tenants may post reviews. Landlord/agents or any third party acting in their interests may NOT place reviews and we have measures in place to catch you out if you try. We will joyously co-operate with authorities in prosecuting those who attempt to, providing they will deign to concern themselves less with Jeff’s Bread and more with tenants at risk of injury. Bizarrely, landlord/agents may be fined more for placing a false review – up to a million dollars – than for risking the lives of tenants.
- Tenants are Customers does not seek to measure legal compliance by landlord/agents. Reviews are subjective appraisals of products and customer service.