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Good communication essential in the rental market

From Property Talk Live on June 25, 2014

Good communication is essential between landlords and tenants to help prevent disputes and help raise living conditions in the rental market, says tenant eviction and referencing firm Landlord Assist.

The advice from the tenant eviction and rent recovery firm comes following reports that the number of complaints levied by tenants is on the increase.
With the demand for rental properties reaching record numbers, and over 10 million people now privately renting, the expectation level of accommodation conditions is the highest it has ever been.

But there have been some reports of landlords failing their tenants and, in the worst cases, carrying out so-called ‘revenge evictions’ for complaining about repairs not being made to their properties.

Graham Kinnear, managing director at Landlord Assist says: “The housing shortage has meant there is increased demand for rental properties as soaring house prices have left the option of owning a home beyond the means of many people. Such high demand has resulted in a small minority of landlords disregarding the condition of the property they let as they feel tenants have no choice but to accept poor conditions.

“In the main, landlords take great pride in the property they let out. For most, it is an investment they are keen to preserve and maintain but there are some landlords who take a more short term view and are reluctant to spend money on repairs and maintenance.”

National housing charity Shelter recently reported that the number of calls it had received from tenants afraid of being evicted from their homes had doubled in the last year alone and stated that 9% of the tenants it asked said they had not reported a repair issue for fear of being evicted and left homeless.

Stephen Parry, Commercial Director at Landlord Assist says: “Tenants should not be afraid to report any damage or request repairs to be made.

“Tenants need to be aware that they have a responsibility under the terms of the tenancy agreement to report promptly all repair requirements to the landlord. Failure to do so could make any future repairs more invasive and costly and the tenant may be held liable in some way for failing to report them

“To help prevent disputes from occurring better communication between landlords and tenants is required, together with clear guidance for tenants on what repairs and maintenance the landlord is contractually responsible for and which the tenant should undertake as part of their tenancy conditions.”

To help increase conditions in the buy to let market, Landlord Assist is also calling on the Government to introduce new measures to help stimulate the supply of new properties.

Graham Kinnear adds:  “A greater supply of homes to rent would increase competition for tenants and therefore landlords would have no option but to improve the standard of their property or it would lie empty as tenants would have the opportunity to rent somewhere better.

“Increasing the amount of properties available for rent will improve standards across the industry, improve choice and improve tenant mobility without discouraging landlords from entering the buy to let sector.”

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Source: Property Talk Live