With the recent launch of Roomr, a website that will help facilitate the process of finding off-campus housing, students can expect to make more informed housing decisions in the upcoming semesters.
Roomr is a product of collaboration between the Students of Georgetown Inc., the Georgetown Student Tenant Association and the Georgetown University Student Association. Modelled loosely after RateMyProfessors.com, it is designed to give Georgetown students access to student-written reviews of landlords and properties, as well as a catalog of rentable properties in the area.
In the past, students’ reliance on word of mouth to find available leases has caused many to run into significant problems with off-campus housing, including violations of safety and health codes and uncomfortable relationships with some landlords.
Roomr will help combat the previous lack of resources by providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the market and availabilities in the process of leasing.
Like RateMyProfessors.com, or any website that solicits voluntary input, Roomr will be subject to bias, attracting reviews from those with the worst or best experiences to share. Students should, and surely will, approach the new site with this qualification in mind. Even the most extreme reviews will do a service for student tenants, promoting more accountability to landlords with histories of the most egregious tenants’ rights violations.
Resources like Roomr succeed and fail by the effort students put into them. Hopefully, Roomr will survive beyond one lease cycle.