Tenants are paying more than £1 billion a year in unnecessary repairs

One in 10 tenants have had to wait three months for repairs and maintenance tasks

 A recent study has found that tenants are spending a large amount of their own money on jobs that should have been carried out by the landlord.

Carried out by Uncle, a start-up providing serviced apartments, the research found that people living in rented accommodation paid an average of £217 per household during the past year.

The research found the most common things that went wrong were broken boilers, baths, faulty showers and toilets.

Of the landlords that will do the repairs, one in 10 tenants have had to wait more than three months to get basic repairs and maintenance done, and one in 5 have waited more than one month.

One in 10 tenants have had to wait three months for repairs and maintenance tasks

One in 10 tenants have had to wait three months for repairs and maintenance tasks

Other key findings

The survey also revealed some statistics regarding tenants’ relationships with landlords, with one in five (21%) of participants claiming their mental health was affected due to a poor relationship with their landlord, and 7% saying their housing situation had affected their relationship with their partner. Even more shockingly, 1% of the renters surveyed claimed to have found hidden cameras in their home (this works out as one in every 100).

When compared to figures from the English Housing Survey, more than a quarter (27%) of homes in the private rented sector failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard in 2016. Under powers recently provided by recent legislation changes, landlords can currently be penalised for offences such as not meeting EPC regulations

So what can be done about rogue landlords who do not keep their properties up to scratch? The Local Government Association (LGA) argues that higher fines should be put in place. This would mean that landlords who provide substandard housing, including serious breaches in terms of fire and gas safety, would be held accountable, and make it more financially viable to do the repairs when they need doing, as well as provide good quality homes from the start of tenancies.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA housing spokesman, said: “The majority of landlords are decent, responsible law-abiding citizens who do a great job in making sure their tenants are living in safe and quality housing. Unfortunately, there is a minority of rogue landlords who give those good landlords a bad name.

“Councils want to work with landlords, not against them. But with more young people and families renting privately than ever before, we need to see reforms that will maintain and improve housing standards.

“A key deterrent to rogue landlords would be for the government to set common sentencing guidelines which delivers consistency across the courts. It is not right that the level of civil penalty could outweigh that which is handed out by magistrates.

“Many councils are already tackling issues in the private rental sector by bringing in landlord licensing schemes. But they are limited in how widely these can be introduced. We need to see these rules relaxed and councils given more freedom and flexibility in establishing schemes.

“Landlord licensing schemes allow landlords to demonstrate that they are responsible and adhere to ensuring homes are maintained to a high standard. It also protects and provides reassurance to tenants that they are living in a decent, safe and secure home.”

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