A worrying new report has revealed that a substantial amount of landlords do not keep their rental properties in a suitable condition.
In fact, one in five tenants described their existing rental conditions as a nightmare, according to research by Help-Link.co.uk.
The investigation has found that there are 740,000 rented homes in Britain currently in a poor condition, that present a, ‘severe threat to tenants’ health.’
Many of these properties include category 1 hazards, such as severe damp, rat infestations or even threat of explosions!
According to the study, 41% of tenants are living in properties with damp issues, while around 25% will be without functional heating during this coming Winter.
Further issues highlighted in the report suggest that many investors taking out landlord insurance on properties are not bothered about addressing problems.
33% of rented homes with issues have problems with building faults, 30% have water leaks, 20% damaged windows, 12% unwanted pests and 10% broken fire alarms.
These issues were resolved within an average of seven-and-a-half-weeks.
In addition, the study showed that 37% of tenants did not get their full deposit back at the conclusion of their agreement. The average tenant loses around £355 when their agreement ends.
Over one quarter of those who have not had their deposit returned believe this is down to wear and tear. This is something that landlords expect to happen when their tenants rent a house.
Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, said: ‘The colder months present a series of significant risks to rental properties, particularly relating to heating systems. Of the common complaints we have found in the past is that some tenants make it difficult for landlords to visit the property.’
‘However, regular inspections are imperative to check pipes for breaks, leaks and blockages, bleed radiators and arrange routine boiler checks. Blocked or leaking pipes can freeze during the cold months, than expands and burst,’ he added.
Continuing, Mr Shamplina observed that: ‘Tenants are often found to withhold rent for many different reasons. However, withholding rent is often the start of the breakdown between landlords and tenants.’
‘We regularly come across cases where tenants have fallen on hard times and rather than communicate with their landlord for fear of losing their home, they instead choose to avoid paying the rent until the landlord reaches breaking point and the end result is eviction, he concluded.
As such, it is imperative that landlords protect themselves and their investment by taking out rent guarantee insurance.