HUNDREDS of houses across Perth – including the former home of infamous serial killers the Birnies – have been named as dumps on a tenant review website.
The website, dontrentme.com/au, lets tenants review bad houses they’ve found themselves living in and warn others before they make the same mistake.
There are more than 200 houses listed from across Perth on the site, including the Willagee house where the Birnies committed their heinous crimes in the 1980s.
Website creator Anthony Ziebell, from Sydney, said it was perfectly legal for tenants to review houses on the website.
“Tenants need to realise they are consumers,” he said.
“In Australia we have a right to review a service.
“We review restaurants, hotels and movies, why not real estate?”
Mr Ziebell created the website after a bad experience of his own.
“I had a rental where the oven didn’t work for six months,” he said.
“I was very patient even though it is considered an emergency item.”
When Mr Ziebell decided not to continue his lease, the landlords then attempted to take his bond.
The website receives more than 100 reviews a day and has been opened up to allow reviews from the US and UK.
Mr Ziebell said he read most of the reviews and said there were some real standouts.
“Sometimes we go out and film them,” he said.
“We’ve seen sewage overflowing and we’ve heard of landlords walking in while they’re in the shower.
“You think that can’t be true and then they show the police report.”
A rental in Rockingham is described as poor quality.
“Backs of kitchen cupboard were cardboard and duct tape. Holes in cardboard where you could see right through to garden outside,” the tenant wrote.
Meanwhile, a house in Mandurah had rats, a leaking roof and a tree inside the bedroom wall.
Mr Ziebell said one of the worst homes he had seen looked like a construction site.
It had patchy paintwork and extension cords running from outdoors to indoors.
“There’s all sorts of crazy stories,” he said.
The real estate industry has tenancy databases where bad tenants can be blacklisted – however, this is a first for tenants.
“If I were blacklisted, how would I know? You have to pay to see if you’re on that,” Mr Ziebell said.
He pointed out that with his website it was free for landlords to see if they or their property were listed.
“With it picking up in the US and UK at the moment – we can see that fortunately we aren’t alone as tenants, it’s an around the world experience,” he said.
Mr Ziebell said they were willing hide bad reviews if the landlord or agent could prove they had fixed the problem.
“But if they’re reported a second time around, everything comes back,” he said.
“People cannot be blacklisted for leaving a review.
“And if they are we’ll do what we can to get it off.”
Mr Ziebell’s advice to reviewers:
Be truthful – if you stop being honest it becomes defamation.
Use the house address and the name of the company. Don’t name landlords or agents personally.
Suburbs containing properties flagged on the site:
East Victoria Park