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Tardy tenants are running up repair bills

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Costly repair bills are being run up because tenants delay telling their landlords about issues that later turn into problems, new research has found.

Almost a quarter of BTL landlords blame delays by tenants for bigger bills, the survey conducted by LV=, one of the UKs largest insurance companies, discovered.
The report reveals that the annual cost of essential maintenance comes to more than £2,360 per landlord, which equates to a staggering £4.1billion nationwide.
Around 39 per cent of landlords admit to relying upon their tenants to keep them informed about the condition of their property. 
And 25 per cent say they are doing this without a property management company to keep an eye on potential problems.
Selwyn Fernandes, MD of home and landlord insurance at LV=, said: “Keeping up with home maintenance can be a tough and time-consuming job at the best of times, but it can be especially tricky for landlords and their tenants as there may be confusion about where the responsibility lies.
“Generally landlords handle structural repairs and any issues with water, heating or electrical systems, but renters may be expected to do minor repairs, so should check their contract if they aren’t sure.” 
Many renters admit to putting off fixing issues or not telling their landlord about them, with younger tenants most likely to do this: 21 per cent of renters say they have either put off fixing or not told their landlord about maintenance issues in the past year - this increases to 31 per cent of renters aged 21 to 34.
One reason for the breakdown in communication may be attitudes to home maintenance. 
The survey found that 37 per cent of renters believed that maintenance work 'can wait unless it is an emergency' - thus ignoring issues which can develop into more expensive problems. 
According to HMRC there are 1.75 million landlords in the UK and last year their median spend was £2363.70 - which equates to a total of £4,136,475,000.

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