No matter what the market is like, you are usually at somewhat of a disadvantage if you are a tenant. It is better in some areas than in others, but no matter where you are, you are the one with more to lose. You are the one who pays money every month and gets no equity. You are the one who has to live in squalor if there is a leak or other serious problem that the landlord refuses to fix. You are the one who can end up homeless if things do not work out with your lease.
This is why it would be so nice to have a site with apartment reviews online for people to look at. Unfortunately, all of my apartment ratings review efforts have failed. As a tenants rights organizer in the San Francisco Bay area, I know a lot about how the Internet has changed things for tenants and for landlords. You can now find apartments to rent quicker than ever before, making things much easier for both landlords and tenants. You can post feedback about a housing situation, telling anyone who sees it whether or not an apartment was good. The problem is, however, that no one will see it.
The big problem is that, although there are places where you can leave apartment reviews (at least in theory) no one is going to see them. You see, almost no one uses these sites, and few people are aware that they even exist. Just having the information out there on the Internet is not going to do anything for anyone. The important thing is for people to know where to look at apartment review articles.
The only way to successfully publicize apartment reviews is to do it for a specific area. The site has to be made for one community, and word has to be spread in the community. Not only do people need to know where to go for apartment reviews, but the knowledge has to be widespread enough that it will make a difference. Only if a significant proportion of the population is willing to review apartments does the site become useful. Otherwise, it might as well not even exist. Until it is popular enough that any particular room for rent you are looking at is likely to be up on the site, why would you bother? Getting it to that point, however, is difficult.