A landlord rating site soon?

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A coalition of student leaders, including former Ald. Eli Judge, Ald. Bryon Eagon and blogger Danny Spirn are trying to make good on their mission to provide a site which allows student tenants to rate landlords in the area – much in the style of ratemyprofessor or similar rating websites. ASM approved the site as well as its $5,000 price tag last March, however, there still remain bureaucratic obstacles within the university system which have prevented the site from materializing.

In fact, a similar project undertaken by the Tenant Resource Center was allocated $50,000,  showed no visible signs of progress, and was finally effectively killed when SSFC voted to zero-fund its budget on Monday.

The group is scheduled to meet with UW administration officials on Feb. 12 to work out details and hopefully receive the necessary funding for the site.

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6 Responses to “A landlord rating site soon?”

  1. Jim Says:

    I believe a project like this was killed due to libel issues at Winona State University.

    • Jack Says:

      That is always a danger with things like this. A negative review will rarely avoid allegations of libel.

    • Scott Says:

      Jim, I believe you are referencing “WSU Rate Your Landlord.” That project was a bit different that what is being proposed here. Back in 2005, students were encouraged to fill out a website survey regarding their landlord. After the web surveys were collected, the results were edited for publication.

      The site went live however I am not sure if the results were ever released. (http://www.indee.info/BRIEFS/06/01JAN/01jan22-31.html)

      A major issue with the WSU survey was that it one-sided: only students could participate. According to the mission of the UW website, both students and property managers are encouraged in a dialog about campus housing.

      Also, the digital realm and precedent for Internet libel has significantly changed in the last four years. Facebook, wordpress, the search engine explosion all have contributed a new information resource. While the definition of libel may still be the same, there are now websites to assess professors, video games, Madison eateries and just about anything else I can imagine. If they did the same project five years later, I would be surprised if the reaction was the same.

      Basically two different projects.

      • Jim Says:

        Rate my professor and Facebook were around back then, although I can’t say I completely remember how much different they were compared to today (an now I have no professors to rate). Anyway I think you found the right story, I just didn’t think it was that long ago.
        So you’re probably right when you say peoples reactions would be different now.

  2. Brenda Says:

    Tenant Resource Union?

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