Free Online Maintenance and Repair Reporting Tool for Tenants Launches
By |Published On: 20th October 2016|

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Free Online Maintenance and Repair Reporting Tool for Tenants Launches

By |Published On: 20th October 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

The National Landlords Code of Excellence Ltd (NLCE) has launched a free online maintenance and repair reporting tool for private tenants in a bid to tackle the age-old problem of maintenance/repair issues between landlords and tenants.

Maintenance in private rental properties is one of the most complex issues to define, particularly for tenants, and is one of the main causes of deposit disputes at the end of a tenancy. Research from deposit protection scheme My Deposits shows that while only 2% of disputes require a formal resolution service, property maintenance accounts for 42% of these cases.

The law

Furthermore, for new tenancies that start on or after 1st October 2015, the Deregulation Act 2015 rules that:

  • Letting agents and tenants must put repair requests and resulting actions in writing.
  • Repair requests do not need to be written in English.
Free Online Maintenance and Repair Reporting Tool for Tenants Launches

Free Online Maintenance and Repair Reporting Tool for Tenants Launches

These new measures were created to protect tenants from eviction when they raise a complaint about the condition of their home, called revenge or retaliatory evictions. Therefore, if a landlord or their letting agent fails to follow the correct procedure for managing repairs under this latest legislation, they could face penalties as well as being unable to evict tenants in the future.

Although the new legislation does not specifically mention what “in writing” constitutes, the courts are increasingly encouraging service of documents by electronic means.

With all of this in mind, the NLCE created its property maintenance and repair reporting tool for tenants.

In compliance with the law, the reporting tool also provides a translation service, which allows tenants to report an issue to their landlord in over 100 languages.

The NLCE works with councils, landlords and letting agents around the UK to ensure that the legal requirements of a landlord, to repair and maintain their property to housing standards criteria, are met in full.

How does it work?

This free tool allows tenants to notify their landlord of any problems they are having with their property. Once the report has been sent, the landlord cannot claim that they have never received a complaint from the tenant about a specific maintenance/repair issue.

With this facility, the landlord supplies the tenant with a plastic bank card-style NLCE tenancy emergency card, which can be acquired from the NLCE and contains the landlord’s name and contact details. The tenant can then use the information on the card to report problems to the landlord. This also helps landlords comply with their legal responsibility to provide their tenants with their contact details.

If the landlord fails to complete the work within a reasonable timeframe, the tenant can automatically raise the issue to the NLCE to make a formal complaint. This complaint will then be passed simultaneously to the relevant accreditation scheme and local council.

Once the complaint is upheld, the complaint procedure will formally begin. If the accreditation scheme cannot make the landlord conduct the works, the local authority will step in to issue an improvement notice, which forces them to complete the work within a specific timescale.

The primary objective of the maintenance and repair reporting tool is to create a paper trail between the landlord and tenant, to protect both parties in the event of a dispute.

The tool can be accessed here:

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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