Finding a good apartment with a decent landlord in NYC can be like finding the holy grail.
A landlord can make or break your housing situation, which is why Brooklyn residents Allia Mohamed and Srujan Routhu created a new app to rate landlords called Openigloo.
After downloading the app to your phone, you can search for specific apartment buildings and read reviews left by tenants about the condition of the building and a one- to five-star rating of the neighbors, the owner responsiveness, heat, cleanliness, noise levels, pest control, garbage management and water pressure. The landlord's name is usually included on buildings' pages as well as written tenant reviews and whether there are any COVID-19 measures.
Essentially real-time city data about buildings, open violation data, bed bug complaints, and eviction history is all at your fingertips. And of course, you can also anonymously submit your own reviews of a building you live at or have lived at. So far, Openigloo has more than 1,000 building reviews and details on more than 100,000 properties.
The hope is to reach New York City's 5.5 million renters so that no one goes into a living situation that is untenable. Both Mohamed and Routhu have had bad experiences with landlords. Mohamed says she had a neglectful landlord who harassed and intimidated rent-stabilized tenants and Srujan had a landlord that offered rent discounts when something broke.
That being said, this isn't a place to rant about your landlord. It's meant to provide a place to provide helpful criticism and transparency.
"This isn’t Yelp, where people are ranting in paragraphs about the landlord that they hate," Mohamed told the New York Post. "We tried to design it in a way that the feedback and the comments are constructive and useful for both landlords and future tenants."
"If you want to move into an apartment, the landlord asks you for everything but the kitchen sink on your background," she said. "But if you even ask a question to them about who they are or how they manage their building, there’s a very high chance that you probably wouldn’t get that."
Check it out at openigloo.com.
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