Thursday 22 June 2017

Running a Live Rate Your Landlord Site: Making it Work


Please contact for further details.

etc.venues - Liverpool Street - Norton Folgate - London

A one day seminar looking at why Rate Your Landlord sites can be a good idea and how to establish and run a site that adds to student empowerment and improves housing choice.

Suitable for: all those supporting student house hunting: students’ unions, student services and student advice staff, landlords and PBSA suppliers

Bishopsgate Court, 4-12 Norton Folgate, London E1 6DQ

Spaces available


9.30am - 9.45am Registration and coffee

9.45am - 10.05am Introduction of Delegates and Round Table Sharing of Delegates Perspectives

10.05am - 10.35am Why Have a Rate Your Landlord site?
how do ratings sites work?
what is currently being done?
gains and risks in running a site
how much does all this cost and are there any revenue opportunities?
Martin Blakey, Chief Executive, Unipol

10.35am - 11.05am Uses of a Review Site: A Students’ Union Perspective
part of the toolkit?
consumer pressure
does naming and shaming and rewarding the good have any impact?
Shelly Asquith, Vice-President (Welfare) National Union of Students and Diane Pedder, Head of Engagement and Support, Leeds University Union

11.05am - 11.20am Questions and discussion

11.20am - 11.35pm Break

11.35pm - 12.20pm The Leeds Experience: Setting Up a Live Site and the Issues that it Raises
what should be reviewed?
establishing terms of use
allowing comments
giving a right of reply
using moderation systems
Martin Blakey, Diane Pedder and Nicola Brown, Assistant Chief Executive - Hub Services Unipol

12.30pm - 12.30pm Questions and discussion

12.30pm - 1.20pm Lunch (provided)

1.20am -2.15pm The Legal Issues Involved in Running A Review Site for Student Housing
the principles behind the site
are the reviews representative?
dealing with malicious and false reviews
who is liable for unfavourable reviews?
dealing with data protection and privacy issues
Louise Fullwood, Legal Director, Pinsent Masons LLP

2.15pm - 2.30pm Questions and discussion

2.30pm - 2.45pm Break

2.55pm - 3.25pm Identifying and Dealing with Legal Threats from Housing Suppliers
General Principles and Case Studies
Louise Fullwood and Martin Blakey

3.25pm - 4.15pm Keeping the Site Working: Panel; Discussion
who uses a review site?
harvesting reviews and maintaining profile
A panel of students chaired by Diane Pedder & Kelly-Anne Watson, Vice-President Welfare & Community - Leeds Beckett University

4.15pm - 4.30pm Final Questions, Discussion, Concluding Remarks and end


Students, students’ unions and some institutions have all raised the usefulness of a Rate Your Landlord service to help students make the best decisions in their house hunting - particularly after their first year in HEI provided accommodation. The theory is simple: students tell other students about their experiences and others take that into account in renting. In a difficult property market with only limited action on enforcement of regulatory standards this peer-to-peer communication could be very useful indeed.

This one day seminar looks at:

• Why a Rate Your Landlord service could be a useful part of the house hunting toolkit

• What a ratings site can and cannot do

• How to establish a service and what rules to use

• How to deal with threats from those who are reviewed badly

• How to reward those that do well and why accommodation suppliers should grasp rating as an opportunity rather than a threat

• How to develop the site and keep it active.

As well as undertaking a general overview of ratings sites and how they work the day will look closely at the partnership between Leeds University Union and Unipol Student Homes, who established the first live Rate Your Landlord site just over a year ago and shares the lessons learned over that period to those interested in developing a service.

The day will consist of input from students involved in the project, Unipol, NUS and Leeds University Union and we are pleased that Pinsent Masons, who provided the legal advice on the service and subsequent advice on how to fend off hostile landlords, have agreed to take part to outline the legal issues that can arise.

The day will also provide for delegate interaction and participation is being set at 35 delegates to ensure a round table and involved format.

Special delegate prices have been set to enable elected officers and students’ union staff to take part but the day will also be relevant to housing suppliers and those involved in student services and student advice seeking to improve student’s house hunting experience.

Cost per delegate

Students' Union Rate - £160
Friends of Unipol Rate - £270
Normal Delegate Rate - £305

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