Meet Moove: A student-run website that reviews housing in Cardiff
Get the low-down from current residents before you sign your house
When looking for a house in Cathays, students gravitate towards the same requirements: cheap, decent-sized rooms and as close to Lidl as possible!
Now, whilst Cathays is no Kensington, the odd house here and there can be a steal— but the problem is knowing if the letting agent’s pictures live up to the reality. Strategic photos and reviews hide a multitude of sins, with the unique aspects of your house only discovered after signing— the poor plumbing, the carefully positioned picture frame that hides the mold, the family of rats living in between walls.
So, The Tab Cardiff spoke to Sebastian Walker, the founder of Moove— a student-run website where students can give honest reviews about the houses they are living in. The website provides student truths to see if the house you might sign is as good as the letting agency says it is!
What was the inspiration behind the website?
“Me and my housemate came home from uni one day and our other housemates were holding up the kitchen ceiling with a broom and a bucket. When we spoke to our course mates it turned out that having crap housing was a common thing.”
So, Seb came up with the idea of Moove to make sure no one else would have to go through those experiences again— especially when uni is stressful enough!
“Seeing google reviews on a letting agent wasn’t enough, as specific properties have different landlords and that can really affect what it’s like to live somewhere.”
How do you encourage students to write reviews?
“You might have seen us running pop up stalls outside the Woody, we love doing it as you get to chat to people about their housing experiences.”
“We also ran the lockdown Olympics to raise money for Mind while raising awareness of lockdown loneliness and what we do – which was a super fun couple of weeks.”
You can also submit a review at anytime by going to moove.to/review. It takes two minutes and it’s a great way of helping fellow students out.
How do you make sure the reviews are legit and not just angry rants?
In order to review a property, you must have a student email from one of the unis in Cardiff.
“The system limits the number of reviews you can submit with that address to ensure that they are real. Reviews stay completely anonymous though to protect the people living there.”
“A site full of angry rants obviously isn’t helpful to other people trying to get the scoop on what it’s like to live there. We were actually kinda shocked because the 2/3rds of the reviews we’ve collected so far have actually been positive. So it shows there are definitely some good houses and landlords out there.”
What housing advice would you give to freshers who may not know the area as well?
“To any freshers first, there really isn’t any rush to find somewhere. What COVID has shown a lot of people is that they don’t have to find their house within the first week of October. There are more bedrooms in student houses than there are students (believe us, we’ve done the maths) so take the time to find people you’re actually going to get on with and find the right place before you agree to part with hundreds of pounds for the next 10 months.”
On your website, is there the option to review the letting agencies as well as the house?
“We’ve just introduced a feature to review your letting agent as well as your house. If you go to moove.to/review you can review your property and your landlord / agent. At the moment this just shows up on individual property pages, but we’re building it so you’ll be able to see the overall scores and performance for all the agents pretty soon!”
As a student run website, Moove helps other students make informed choices on housing. The website is accessible, with the truthful reviews leaving Cathays rats to scamper off and find new homes themselves!
You can leave a review on your own student house here.
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