A website focused upon landlords across the spectrum — that is, a repository that tracks data for both those perceived to be the very best by renters to those who public opinion has found sorely wanting — is gaining traction in New York City after its launch several years ago in Philadelphia.
Whose Your Landlord (purposefully misspelled for reasons that several young entrepreneurs explain on their site intended to empower renters through knowledge and their ability to make public comments) responds to what its architects and many commentators on housing across the metro area state is a stark imbalance in the relational dynamics between landlords and tenants, especially in rent-controlled units.
Evidence that the subject matter is of keen interest to a vast audience is clearly revealed through the site’s active and growing subscriber base of 250,000 users.
Understandably, an online forum that solicits feedback on landlords (“on issues from rodents to security,” as noted in a recent city publication spotlighting the landlord-review vehicle) is not going to be universally lauded by that demographic.
Its creators don’t much care.
“If you’re a bad landlord,” says one of them, “people should know that.”
Conversely, though, Ofo Eneugwu and his fellow business partners stress that responsible and good-faith landlords from across the city will logically want to show up prominently on the site to help mitigate a misconception “that there are more bad landlords than good.”
The stated bottom-line goal of Whose Your Landlord is to serve as a catalyst in engendering public discourse about landlords and housing conditions across the metro.
And, thus, the more participants that become involved, the better.
“There’s strength in numbers that landlords can’t avoid,” says one housing advocate.