Interesting research from AA Home Membership suggest that around one-third of renters claim to have fixed a problem in their home, instead of asking their landlord.
The findings indicate that the average price of a repair arranged by a tenant was around £63. One in six said that they paid in excess of £100. Many of the damages would have been covered on the property owner’s landlord insurance.
Some common household problems in need of repair were blocked drains, leaking showers and a broken lock, with one in six tenants complaining of these. One in seven repaired a cracked pipe, with one in fourteen even purchasing a new boiler.
Of those questioned, over half replied that they chose to solve problems themselves as it was ‘quicker and easier.’ Around twenty-five percent claimed guilt of causing the problem led them to find a solution themselves, while one in eight rather alarmingly said that their landlord had refused to help.
A further six percent suggested that their landlord had made the problem worse when trying to solve issues. AA’s research found that the majority of landlords had visited their landlords on the same day although nearly one-third had to wait for more than a week.
Head of AA Home Membership, Helen Brooker, said that for some tenants, ‘not being responsible for repairs is often seen as a perk of renting.’ She goes on to say however that the research shows tenants, ‘seem to be more conscientious than they’re often given credit for.’
Brooker notes that clear guidelines on accountability can go a long way in solving common repair problems efficiently. ‘Fallouts over repairs are quite common,’ says Brooker, but, ‘having clear guidelines about who is responsible for particular issues could be helpful, as could having reasonable expectations as to how landlords will deal with household repairs.’
In addition, Brooker states the importance of landlords leaving contact details of trusted tradespeople to deal with any problems in their absence. She says, ‘some things, relating to gas and electrical problems for example, should only be carried out by properly qualified professionals. It could be useful for landlords to leave details of somebody the tenant could contact in their absence, such as a trusted tradesperson.’