The relationship between landlords and their tenants can often be testy, with all kinds of strains and stresses on both sides. Now, new research shows that the problem might be far worse, with almost half of all such transactional relationships breaking down at some stage as tenants fall out landlords or landlord agents.
What’s causing all the discord? According to research carried out by lighting firm Lightbulbs Direct, it’s the usual suspects of maintenance, renovations and decorating. That’s keeping a house or flat in top condition at all times, so that tenants are content, don’t move and keep on paying the rent.
But not all landlords are willing to part with cash to maintain a property, at least to a certain standard a tenant might expect, or to renovate it every few years. It can also be the case with those using a landlord agent to do the work for them. This has led to 49% of tenants becoming involved in arguments and ongoing rows with their landlords, the research said.
Packing Up and Leaving
It’s not just the odd or continual kerfuffle between both parties either. The level of disharmony between the two sides can get so high that 89% of people questioned said they would strongly think about leaving a property if a bad relationship with a landlord did not improve. And 18% of tenants who responded to the survey said they were currently in an unhappy situation with their landlord because they were unapproachable.
Broken down, most tenants said they contacted their landlord or landlord agent — or at least attempted to — when a window was broken and they wanted it fixed (66%); when they wanted to decorate a flat or house and required the landlord’s permission (49%); when an appliance was in need of repair (46%); and to deal with plumbing problems or to clean the property (33%).
Some tenants, however, went much further and insisted their landlord help them to hang pictures on the walls (16%), to tighten screws on a door (8%) and to give them a hand moving furniture around rooms (7%).
Late with the Rent
Alarmingly for landlords, landlord agents and those considering getting into the business, almost a quarter of tenants questioned as part of the survey (24%) said they had failed to pay rent in the past. This was especially the case with younger renters — 44% of tenants aged 25-34, compared to 5% of people aged 65 or over.
As for those rows, it’s the younger renters again that are doing more of it. The survey revealed that 65% of tenants aged 18 to 24 have had an argument with their landlord, and 66% of tenants in the 25-34-year age bracket. That compares with 36% of 55 to 64 year-olds having quarrels with their landlords and 34% of tenants aged 65 and over.
Lightbulbs Direct eCommerce manager David Tetlow said people considering renting a property should not just check the house or flat out, but also the landlord, so they know who they will be dealing with.
“Whether you’ve been searching for ages or it was love at first sight, discovering the perfect property is often hard to find. When it comes to renting, it’s easy to be persuaded by your dream home but finding out who your landlord is before you sign a tenancy agreement is extremely important and will help you to understand how approachable they’re going to be in a crisis.
“You should always take the time to research and understand your rights as a tenant and your landlord’s rights to avoid any difficult situations in the future too.”
Many landlords opt for the services of a top letting agent, such as a landlord agent in London W6 or elsewhere, to not only properly vet prospective tenants and ensure they are suitable, but to deal with all the various issues that arise. Fixing things, renovating and everything else that comes with being a landlord is then left to the professionals to sort out.