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Problem properties hit two thirds of renters, claim lettings group

Two thirds of private renters have experienced a problem with the quality or condition of their property in the past six months, according to new research.

A survey of over 2,000 private renters was carried out by the TDS Foundation which works to advance education about the private rented sector.

It found that whilst 40 per cent of tenants did not have any problem with the quality of their rented home in the past six months, 60 per cent encountered one or more problems.


The top five problems included leaks or problems with plumbing (21 per cent), difficulties keeping their home warm (20 per cent), repairs not being carried out (18 per cent), serious problems with damp or mould (16 per cent) and outside doors, walls, roofs or windows being in need of repair (16 per cent).

Of this group, 85 per cent reported the problems they had with their property to their landlord or letting agent, with over three quarters (78 per cent) saying the issue was either fully or partially addressed.

The minority of tenants who did not report the issues to their landlord or letting agent said this was due to a perceived ineffectiveness of reporting (30 per cent), the hassle involved (27 per cent), fears about not being seen as a “good tenant” (23 per cent) and concerns about potential rent increases (22 per cent).

Dr Jennifer Harris, Head of Policy and Research at TDS Group, says: “Whilst a large proportion of tenants are experiencing problems with the condition of their property, they are being addressed by landlords in a majority of cases when they are reported.

“That said, it is worrying that over one in ten tenants who had problems with their homes did not feel confident reporting it.

“The Government’s plans to reform the rental market, including developing a decent homes standard for private rented housing, need to ensure tenants feel confident to speak out where their homes meet all required standards. 

“The TDS Foundation will continue to work to ensure tenants fully understand and make use of their rights when calling out the minority of landlords failing to tackle poor quality housing.”

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    All sounds a bit negative. Every property will have a maintenance issues at some point. The real headline here is that 'over three quarters (78 per cent) saying the issue was either fully or partially addressed.'

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    All properties have problems at sone time. “Dr” Jennifer is just stirring.

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    Perhaps when a renter takes over the property they should take som responsibility for some small repairs. Example one of my tenants when I decided to hand over to an agent suddenly had a list of repairs. Leaking tap in en-suite, shower tray damaged, bath panel ruined with hair dye and kicked in. The tenant took over this rental the day painting was finished and new carpets were laid the house was in perfect condition. Also for some reason the handle to the master bedroom was removed and a man’s sock put in the hole.
    He told the agent that the house was like that when he move in . This was only 8 months into renting he said he did not raise it with me as he thought when fixed the rent would go up. Sadly I was told by the managing agent that when they take on occupied rentals they don’t take any photos nor inventory . So all was fixed. Is it standard practice in the rental market for professional agents not to take photos or an inventory if the property is tenanted?


    Not standard practice. Change your agent and complain to their professional body, if they have one. No photos and no inventory means no chance of claiming against the tenant.

  • jeremy clarke

    As an agent of 35+ years, I have never undertaken an inventory or taken photographs when taking over a previously landlord managed property. Firstly it would be almost impossible and secondly, it wouldn't represent the property at initial move in. Landlords have to take responsibility at the outset of the tenancy, it is, after all part of managing a tenancy, if Landlords cut corners at the beginning they deserve to lose out at the end of tenancy.

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    So I pay for rent collection and the organising of safety certs. Also my agent does not update me on the external condition as when I decided to visit for myself I had to organise the external painting. So Jeremy if I as land lord need to take responsibility for an inventory then it would make more sense for me to manage the collection of rents and organise the certs and repairs my self. 15% of monthly rent is a lot for rent collection .


    15%? They saw you coming. Where is your property, Mayfair?

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    Perhaps if an agent is not undertaking an inventory or photo record of how to property looked when taken onboard, this should be emphasised by the agent and perhaps request the landlord to provide the photos when the tenant. How can an agent do inspections without phonographic references. Annoyed Landlord perhaps your advice is good. I do know as of recent investigation other agents do the inventory/photo referencing on taking on a tenanted property. Thank you

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    Tenant lifestyle has a impact on property condition, somehow it's the landlords fault when something happens such as a leak etc. Things wear out and need replacing from time to time, this doesn't mean the house maintenance has been neglected. However; a small minority of landlords scrimp on paying for maintenance. A small minority of tenants arn't keen on maintaining a garden or using a dehumidifier, not drying clothes on a radiator etc etc. The UK climate and older housing stock (pre 1920s) coupled with modern government ideas on insulation energy usage contribute to a lot of older housing problems.

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    Before the government meddle in the bringing private renter’s property up to a good standard. Looking into their own stock of rental offerings would be a start . Housing associations are not efficient and are also poor at repairs. If private landlords were as negligent in their repairs they get fined etc where /when do councils get fined?


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