‘Tripadvisor for property’: new Homeviews website allows tenants and owners to rate and review new builds
A new website, billing itself as the “TripAdvisor for property”, has launched, allowing owners and renters of new-build flats in London to rate them online.
These reviews can then be read by prospective buyers and tenants before they commit to a property.
Operating in Beta mode since last summer, Homeviews has generated just over 2,000 verified reviews by landlords, owner-occupiers, and tenants across 534 residential developments in London.
It hopes to replicate travel review website TripAdvisor’s model of impartial, warts-and-all, user-generated feedback on businesses and services for the housing market.
Homeviews says the platform offers honest insights into London’s new-build developments and brings transparency to the residential property marketplace for the first time.
“At a time when around 100,000 new apartments are being delivered across London and thousands of people are discovering and considering new build for the first time, we see a real gap for a residential development review site,” said Rory Cramer, co-founder of HomeViews.
As well as being asked set questions such as “Would you recommend your landlord”, and “one thing which you wish you had known before you moved in”, residents also rate their developments out of five on five categories – facilities, design, location, value and building management – and can upload their own photos of their homes.
The platform also invites property experts including architects and estate agents to comment on and rate developments.
Tripadvisor for property: the new website allows people to view reviews of new build homes before they move in (Homeviews)
“By collating residents’ reviews of a development and a developer, everyone can now get real feedback on new build developments, beyond the glossy marketing brochure,” said Paula Higgins, CEO of the Homeowners Alliance.
Currently only schemes built since 2000 with 50 homes or more are eligible for review. Residents can upload and review their own development so long as it meets the criteria.
The highest ranked Build to Rent development on the site is Dressage Court in Bethnal Green, which scored a 4.82/5 star rating based on 22 reviews.
The block, run by build to rent landlord Essential Living, has 104 flats with one-bedroom apartments costing from £1,820 per month. On-site facilities include workstations, a games room and a roof garden.
Residents’ reviews of the development are generally positive about the friendly staff, buzzy location and facilities. However, some tenants also warn that “furniture could be higher quality for the price” and that “having to pay to use the BBQ or if you have more than four guests is ridiculous when we already pay so much in rent.”
Another user, who left a four-star review, said: “Great customer service, great facilities and great building. Very strict rules regarding having guests over which is a shame as sometimes you don’t feel at home.”
The second most popular development is Fizzy Hayes, a Fizzy Living development with a 4.79/5 rating based on 15 reviews.
Vantage Point in Archway, be:here Hayes and Fizzy Stepney Green make up the rest of the top five build to rent developments in London.