Tenants Admit Having Problems With Landlords And Letting Agents
55% of tenants in the UK’s private rented sector (PRS) have experienced problems with their landlord or their appointed letting agents according to the latest research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
The most common issue which affected 31% of PRS tenants was the length of time taken to fix problems in rental properties including issues with boilers, heating and electrical outlets.
Once a problem was raised, tenants have waited an average of 36 days for the problem to be fully resolved. However over 14% of PRS tenants never had their rental property problems fixed at all, according to the research.
18% of tenants surveyed also reported frustrating delays with landlords not replacing worn out fixtures and fittings on demand, including requests to replace old or damaged kitchen cupboards or tired and worn carpets.
14% of the tenants surveyed, felt that their complaints about repair issues were either ignored or brushed off by landlords or their appointed letting agents.Managing Director of ARLA, David Cox, said: “Our home is our castle, and there is no reason for it to not be fit for a King. Just because you rent a property it should not impact your levels of enjoyment, especially as there is such a high price to pay for renting. It will only be through qualification and ongoing professional development, backed up by appropriate regulation, that we will eliminate the rogue landlords and letting agents who blight our industry. ARLA would like to see a fully regulated industry to build a better, stronger private rented sector”.
The research also discovered that 64% of tenants in the UK’s private rental sector did not stop to consider whether the landlord or letting agent was licensed or belonged to an official regulatory body when they were searching for rental properties to live in.
Of that 64%, over half said it hadn’t crossed their minds to check, while nearly a quarter, did not know that letting agents or landlords needed be licensed.
These alarming findings highlight the need for better communication between PRS landlords, letting agents and tenants as such problems should be in the minority of everyone’s minds.
Sometimes problems are caused because tenants are unaware that they also have repairing obligations for rented properties.
Geo Property Lettings in Manchester provide all of their tenants with the following written guidelines at the start of every tenancy
- It is the tenant’s duty to notify the landlord or their appointed letting agents about any issue but repairs cannot be carried out unless the landlord or their appointed letting agents are made aware of them. [O’Brien -v- Robinson (1973) AC 912]
- Tenants are responsible for the cost of any repairs caused by the neglect or wilful damage of the tenant or their visitors [O’Brien -v- Robinson (1973)]
- Tenants must provide contractors access at agreed call out times and call out charges incurred, where access is denied will be charged to the tenant. (Section 11(6) Landlord & Tenant Act 1985)
- Under the tenancy agreement tenants are responsible for repair and upkeep (Irvine – v- Moran  1 EGLR 261) of;
- Internal decorations which includes wall paper, plaster work, repainting etc.
- Upkeep of the garden (eg cutting back hedges, grass, clearing weeds etc)
- Door furniture (eg handles), shelves, cupboards, grouting of tiles, sealing of bath and benches
- Paths, steps and paving on and around the property, except those used as a means of access to the property
- Fencing and gates
- Any items that belong to you as the tenant and that you as the tenant can take from the property
Tenants must also occupy the rented property in a “Tenant Like” manner [Warren -v- Keen (1953) LJ Denning] which includes;
- Unblocking drains
- Cleaning chimney’s and windows
- Changing fuses and light bulbs
- Turning off the water/boiler system when the property is unoccupied
- Testing any smoke alarm and changing batteries
- Opening windows and vents to provide adequate ventilation to avoid condensation
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)