Over half of tenants suffer problems with their homes claims research

New research from Ocean Finance has found that over half of tenants complained they experienced problems with their rented homes over the past 12 months.

Related topics:  Landlords
Warren Lewis
6th July 2015
To Let 3

The biggest problem (15%) for tenants was their landlord’s failure to fix structural problems including damp, a leaking roof or rotten window frames.

A further 13% of tenants suffered delays in repairing broken furniture, showers and washing machines. 14% of tenants faced unexpected increases in their rent, disputes over money deducted from their deposits and even early eviction when their landlord sold their property.

Tenants in London, where more than 10 million people live in private rental accommodation, fared the worst, with 60% saying they experienced problems in the past 12 months. This was followed by those in the East Midlands and the rest of the South East region.

Some 35% of tenants said even though they complained to the landlord or letting agent, the problems were not fixed. While 13% said they didn’t know who to turn to for advice, others (5%) took matters into their own hands and refused to pay their rent until the landlord resolved the problem.

Gareth Shilton, a spokesman for Ocean, says: “Landlords have an obligation to ensure that the properties they let are well maintained and safe for their tenants to live in. The research indicates that many tenants are renting sub-standard properties. It’s also concerning that people are facing mid-tenancy rent increases or have money unexpectedly taken from their deposits.

One of the problems may be a lack of clarity over whose responsibility it is to maintain different aspects of a property. Often the landlord believes the tenant is responsible for doing repairs that in fact they are obligated to make."

Shilton added: "It’s worrying to see that more than half of tenants experienced problems with their homes in the past 12 months. If you have any issues with your rented property you should contact your landlord or letting agent immediately. If you don’t get the problem resolved, then go to your Citizen Advice Bureau, or as a final route, the Housing Ombudsman Service, which acts as a mediation service.

All tenants are obliged look after their rented homes. However, you need to always remember that, as a tenant, you also have the right to have your home kept in a good state of repair by the landlord.”  

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