The government has been told it needs to provide tenants with better information about their rights and responsibilities if it’s to avoid a rift with agents and landlords.
Research commissioned by the National Landlords Association - a trade body with 40,000 members - shows that 79 per cent of tenants say they need more information about what they should expect from letting agents and/or their landlords.
Perhaps surprisingly, no fewer than 67 per cent of respondents to the 885-person survey were not even aware of the government’s How To Rent guide which is supposed to outline their rights and responsibilities.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the association, describes the poor awareness as “alarming” given that this is the government’s flagship guide on rights and responsibilities.
“It’s clear that compelling landlords to give tenants copies of the How to Rent guide has made little impact” he says, adding that unless the government addresses this problem quickly, there is a danger that there will be a breakdown of trust between landlords and tenants.
“This relationship is already coming under strain because of overregulation in the private rental sector” Lambert adds.
Despite this, the NLA survey also finds that most tenants currently have a good relationship with their landlords.
No less than 68 per cent of tenants say they have never had any cause to complain to their landlord while a further 12 per cent say that when they had complained, the problem was solved to their satisfaction.