39 :: Should I rent here?

As I was walking to work, I tried to think of what a student might want to know about as they walked the same street towards the university. I passed a number of apartment buildings and suddenly remembered all the stress involved in finding a place to rent, especially when you are in a new city and/or have a pressing deadline to find something you can afford.

So I wondered how I would research a particular apartment building or rental unit. I would probably want to know if the landlord was trustworthy and whether the place was free of bedbugs.  So when I got to work, I spent a little time looking for local registries for such things.

This is what I found. From what I can tell, there is no public bedbug registry for Windsor, Ontario. Public Health Ontario collaborates with a private registry of anonymous complaints on a website that is privately run by a programmer in the San Francisco area.  And from what I can tell, there is no registry for bad landlords but there is one for bad tenants(!).

These two spaces might be worthy of an Open Data project but they would probably have to be done in close conjunction with government agencies to reduce the threat of litigation.

Until then, individuals are going to complain in whatever venue they can find. Like my personal photostream.


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