Third years create rate my landlord website

It’s basically TripAdvisor for uni housing

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Budding entrepreneurs Tom Brooks and Nima Salehi have created StudentBricks, a website where students can rate their landlord and get reviews of a property before they sign a contract.

We spoke to co-founders Tom, third year Geography, and Nima, third year International Relations and Economics, about the website.

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Nima and Tom

So firstly, what’s it about?

StudentBricks is basically a student house review website. It allows students from all over the UK to review the houses they rented while at university. The review covers everything from location to the price as well as star ratings on the conditions of the property, the landlord/lettings agency and general condition of the house.

This database of reviews would then go onto help other students find a home that matches their criteria and avoid those nasty surprises and terrible landlords. Our principle runs off the simple fact you wouldn’t book a hotel without checking the reviews, so why not do the same with your student house?

The site allows you to narrow down your search for houses

The site allows you to narrow down your search for houses

What inspired you to set it up?

We set up StudentBricks as a solution to a problem we have noticed through years of working in the student rental market and having issues with our own student house while at uni. The most prevalent in the student rental market we came across is the fact landlords can get away with providing such a poor service, and do it year on year without next year’s tenants knowing. We hope this website will firstly bring accountability to the sector and in the long term go on to improve the overall standard of student houses.

Has it been well received so far?

So far it has been very well received.  We are constantly getting feedback about what a great idea it is as well as thinking about certain aspects we hadn’t even thought of introducing. Students generally love saving time and money, our website aims to do both. In our first week we had over 100 reviews entered for the University of Birmingham alone, and we plan on quadrupling this by early next year.

The website covers three universities but hopes to incorporate more

The website covers three universities but hopes to incorporate more

What are you hoping to achieve with it?

Our long-term aim is to make StudentBricks the first stop for any student before they starting looking for their house. We want it to be to student housing what TripAdvisor is to hotels by bringing accountability and reliability to a sector that is riddled with corruption and poor customer service.

There are good landlords and estate agencies that exist and we want to provide them with a platform to make themselves known and rise above the other below par agencies. In a few years if a poor review has made a landlord turn around and improve his house and service then we have reached our goal.

What was the process of getting it out there and raising awareness?

We have just started building our social media presence and word of mouth to gain reviews in the short term. However now we have fully launched the company nationally, we are rolling out a marketing strategy that will help gain reviews from across the UK and help build a large database of reviews that will hopefully help students find the perfect house to rent while at uni.