Who’s responsibility?

New research shows that 43% of tenants renting from private landlords are unsure with whom responsibility lies for a number of aspects of their tenancy – either with their landlord or with themselves.

The findings, from MakeItCheaper.com, also suggest that only 11% of tenants think they know more about division of responsibilities than their landlords, while 48% say landlords know better.

This perhaps suggests that a number of the disputes that do arise between private landlords and tenants could be caused by a lack of knowledge on the tenant’s part.

The most common areas in which responsibility has been disputed within the past year were:

  1. Furniture and Appliances = 14%
  2. Fixtures and Fittings = 13%
  3. Mould = 12%
  4. Energy Efficiency = 6%
  5. Utility Bills = 2%

The distinction between ‘damage’ and ‘fair wear & tear’ was voted one of the most ambiguous issues, with 25% of renters saying they would welcome clarification on this topic. However, different age groups are concerned about different aspects of tenancy:

• 18-24 year olds are most unsure of the rules around internal décor
• 25-34 year olds are most confused about whether they should pay for insurance or not
• Over 35s particularly want clarification around rights of access

When questioned about the most important qualities for a landlord to have, over 65% say they most value honest landlords who fix the issues they’re responsible for. It would seem that many landlords do in fact display these qualities, as over 85% of tenants rate their landlord’s management of their tenancy as ‘average’ or better – with 60% giving a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ rating.

This – combined with the fact that only 15% of respondents saying they have had an unresolved dispute in the past 12 months – indicates that tenants’ attitudes towards private landlords are largely positive – contrary to popular belief. This is further supported by the fact that less than 1:5 tenants asked admitted that they have been too afraid to bring up issues with their landlord in the past.

Article from propertyreporter.co.uk