The number of people who rent properties in UK has been continuously increasing over the past years as a result of the economic climate, in which renting is seen as most cost-efficient and less risky, no matter if it is for a short or a long period of time. When you rent a property you always try your best to find a flat or a house that suits all of your needs. The first thing most people consider is location and price, and just after that the features the property offers. Unfortunately many tenants go too quickly through their tenancy agreement, missing key information or have the bad luck of having a landlord who is not providing them with the services he should.
According to a recent research among UK tenants, conducted by Ocean Finance in July 2015, over half of the survey participants have experienced problems and issues with the properties they rent over the past 12 months. These range from poor property maintenance to contract breaches. The main problems faced were identified as follows:
1. Structural issues
The main problem, which 15% of the participants cited was the failure of their landlord to fix structural issues within the property. These include dampness, rotten window frames and leaks in the roof.
2. Delayed repairs
Second major issue, experienced by 13% of the tenants surveyed was delayed repairs. These consisted of broken furniture, washing machines and showers, whose maintenance was not handled timely.
3. Contract breach
Unexpected increase in rent, money deductions from their deposits and even early eviction was experienced by 14% of the survey participants. In some cases it turned out that the Landlord sold the property without informing the tenants or getting their consent.
These problems are experienced by tenants all over UK, however, they were most severe in London where over 10 million people rent a private accommodation. 60% of the survey participants from London announced that they have experienced these or similar problems with their landlord in the past 12 months. Ranking next are the tenants in the East Midlands and other areas of the South East region.
A disturbing fact is that around 35% of the surveyed tenants announced that even after they complained to the letting agent or landlord responsible, the problems were still not fixed. This let to desperation for 13% of them, who report that they did not know where to look for help or who could provide them with advice. Another 5% refused to pay their rent unless the problems were resolved by the landlord.
According to experts in the field, the most worrying factor is the lack of knowledge on responsibilities that both tenants and landlords experience. It is the landlords’ responsibility to take care of repairs or emergency maintenance, as they are required to provide good and safe living conditions for their tenants. The research also revealed that many tenants accept and rent sub-standard properties, which should be prevented.
Mid-term increases in the rent and unlawful usage of the deposit is also a big concern. Tenants should be very clear about the conditions under which they sign their tenancy agreement, in order to know their rights and the rights of their landlord. If the contract is breached they are recommended to contact an attorney or signal this to their local authority. Another important factor to consider are the responsibilities each party has with regards to the property. Knowing their rights and responsibilities is essential for any a future tenant.
At HAP Lettings we cannot help everyone who experiences such problems, but we can promise that issues like these do not exist for our tenants and landlords. We observe strictly the contracts we sign with tenants, we use deposit schemes to keep your money safe and we provide support and advice with emergency maintenance. For more information on the services we offer visit our website at www.haplettings.co.uk or contact us.