A leading trade body has claimed that an alarmingly high number of 250,000 tenants are withholding rent from their landlords, in retaliation for them not making urgent and necessary repairs to their property.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks state that their research indicates 34% of private rental tenants have had a home emergency during the past year. Of those, just a third were resolved on the same day, with a quarter taking over a week.
Landlords Slammed for Failing on Repairs
Hours, not days
Chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, Pat Barber, feels that landlords should be responding quicker to emergency situations. Barber said: “Landlords have a duty of care with tenants and should be responding in hours, not days. We had a case where a boiler stopped working for seven weeks during the coldest part of the winter, so no heating or hot water was available.”
Founder of the tenant repair reporting specialists FixFlo, Rajeev Nayyer, worryingly stated that this initial report could just be the beginning of more problems coming to light. Nayyer said: “The speed and quality of assessing and responding to tenants’ repairs will take centre stage in the next few months. We’re in an age of the Tenants’ Charter and mandatory redress schemes, so repairs have to be taken seriously by landlords and letting agents.”
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks has offered advice to landlords regarding the length of time taken to resolve problems. According to the organisation, landlords should:
- Attend to any electric, gas or water leak within 24 hours.
- Solve any cooker problems within 48 hours.
- Repair any other white goods, washing machine, tumble dryers, dish washers etc., in 72 hours.