Landlords and letting agents must put procedures in place to make sure that tenants don’t get away with causing damage to their rental property, insists the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
The organisation argues that, as tenants become more experienced and understand the difference between fair wear and tear and actual damage, it’s vital that landlords don’t allow them to get away with causing damage to their property.
A recent study by YouGov, conducted on behalf of TheHouseShop.com, found that not all tenants are willing to be honest when it comes to property damage.
Of the 2,000 tenants surveyed, 33% wouldn’t tell their landlord if they caused significant damage to the property. Of these, 17% would hire a professional to make repairs, 15% would try to repair the damage themselves, while 2% would try to hide it.
The Chair of the AIIC, Patricia Barber, comments on the findings: “While it’s clear that the majority of private tenants do report issues to their landlords, the third that are failing to do so still represents a high proportion and could have financial implication for landlords.”
She explains that the figures highlight the need for landlords and their letting agents to make sure that they have stringent processes in place when letting to tenants, including tenant referencing, taking and protecting deposits, and compiling professional inventories.
“These three processes can combine to make sure that landlords give themselves the best possible chance to claim money back in the event that a tenant damages their property,” says Barber. “Tenant referencing increases the prospects of securing good tenants in the first place, while an inventory provides you with the evidence you need to make a deduction from the tenant’s deposit.”
The AIIC also suggests that landlords and agents proactively warn and remind tenants to report damage as quickly as possible.
“As we can see from TheHouseShop’s study, not all tenants are diligent in their reporting of damages and repairs,” Barber adds.
“Issues that are left unattended for long periods could deteriorate and cost more in the long-run. So, reminding tenants of their responsibility to report problems could certainly save landlords money over the course of a tenancy.”
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