Apartment hunting in New York City just got a whole lot easier.
Letter grades are no longer just for restaurants, as tech start-up Rentlogic is now slapping letter grades of its own on the dwellings you call home.
In a city as high-priced and cut-throat as New York, almost everyone has a nightmare rent story — broken down appliances, cockroaches, absentee landlords, you name it. Often it takes months for bad buildings and slumlords to reveal themselves, so with its new software, Rentlogic hopes to take some of the guess work out of renting an apartment and let people know what they’re moving into ahead of time.
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Take the listing for the Upper East Side studio with a newly renovated kitchen, hardwoods and sun-drenched rooms for about $3,000 a month — sounds great, but what the real estate listing probably won’t tell you about it the long history of tenant complaints and city violations.
“Buildings have problems,” Yale Fox, chief executive of Rentlogic, told Bloomberg, explaining that buildings can score well on his system despite occasional issues. “It’s when they’re repeat offenders or there are signs of negligence—we penalize that.”
Launched this week, Rentlogic’s service hopes to make sure you can get that info too. The program provides A through F letter grades for residential buildings in NYC based on eight years’ worth of open source data from government agencies. The data includes past issues that may have afflicted the property such as mold, legal actions against the landlord and rodents.
The software works as a browser extension, so you’ll have to download it onto Firefox with just two clicks and peruse the web with a little more knowledge at your fingertips.
The browser extension will let you access the data while browsing real estate listings online. An A through F letter grade for the building will pop up in a box and works in conjunction with more than 200 different rental listing sites, including the popular ones like Zillow and Truila.