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Whose Your Landlord: the “Rate My Professors” for College Housing

Dealing with an unreasonable landlord can ruin the thrill of renting your first apartment (and that’s a modern day rite of passage). Whether you are finding accommodation for the school year or for a summer job, a rude landlord can be a deal-breaker for an otherwise perfect listing. Wouldn’t it be nice to know the reputation of a landlord before trekking out to an apartment visit (or finding out the hard way after you’ve signed the lease)? Ofo Ezeugwu, a Temple University alumnus and former HC campus cutie, had a similar wish that inspired him to create Whose Your Landlord (WYL), a website designed specifically for college students to rate their landlord and housing experiences.

In case you were ready to call the grammar police, Ezeugwu dedicates a section of the website to explaining the peculiar name choice — WYL purposefully uses the possessive “whose” to represent the ownership a tenant ought to have in a housing search. According to the site, WYL is making an effort to give tenants a voice as they deal with a rollercoaster range of landlords, from terrific to ugly. Reviewers are encouraged to use WYL as an open and honest forum to benefit potential lessees rather than as a rant written in haste — you can save that for a bathroom stall!

Prospective tenants browsing the site can sort landlords by name, location, or rating. Landlords are first rated in categories — responsiveness, pricing, fairness, and safety, to name an important few — and then given an overall rating from a scale of 1 to 10. Landlords are also evaluated by a percentage of tenants who would recommend them to other people. If you are researching a particular landlord, you can also look up an exact name in the directory. Don’t see your landlord? Add him or her to the database so other users can assist you by sharing their experiences. The genius behind WYL is the more friends you introduce to the site, the more likely you are to find the information you need (that’s karma you can count on).

Ezeugwu’s website targets both college dorms and apartments to give students many options during their housing selection process. Since its inception in Philadelphia, the website has added schools in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. The site is currently in beta, but will expand to include more universities and apartments across the country, starting with the New York market.

Now that you know about the convenience of WYL, do us all a favor and leave a review the next time you feel like venting to your friend  about how your landlord is ignoring your maintenance requests. Chances are you may not be the only one that feels that way. The larger the WYL community, the faster we can identify and avoid annoying landlords and promote the quality ones worth our time and money.

Connie is a professional and creative writing major at Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently obsessed with pole fitness, pumpkin bread, and '80s fashion.
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