Landlords stump up £4.5 billion in property damage repairs

Thousands of landlords in the UK are left out of pocket when a tenancy comes to an end with figures suggesting that the total repair bill for private rented homes is a shocking £4.5 billion a year.

That’s the result of research by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) who say the most common damage includes having to pay for broken appliances, ruined carpets and unauthorised decoration.

In a report, TDS suggests that when it comes to deposit disputes damage to property accounts for 56% of all claims.
In addition, around 19% of disputes saw tenants receiving 100% of their claim. Nearly 20% of deposit disputes saw agents and landlords being paid in full.

For the balance of 61%, the deposit was shared out between the parties.

‘Landlords have a poor record’

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Jax Kneppers, the founder of Imfuna Let, said: “Landlords feel their tenants are not held to account for damage caused and there’s little that can be done to protect their property. Landlords also have a poor record in winning their tenant dispute cases.”

He points out that the situation could be changed dramatically with a few simple changes including a new and fairer tenancy agreement which incorporates a thorough inventory when the tenant moves in.

This will, he says, see both parties being treated reasonably and fairly.

Mr Kneppers said: “Because they are not providing the right evidence that shows a tenant has damaged property, landlords are losing disputes.”

He added that landlords can also help protect themselves by having a thorough check-out report.

Call to stop government interference in private rented sector

 
Meanwhile, a leading figure in the private rented sector says the government should stop its interfering.

Dorian Gonsalves is Belvoir’s director of commercial franchising and he says that landlords are being discouraged from investing in the sector.

He points to the mortgage interest tax relief cut and the hike in stamp duty as discouraging potential and current landlords from investing in buy to let properties.

Landlords in the private rental sector

 
He has also called for the dramatic increase in the supply of social housing properties to help reduce pressure on landlords in the private rental sector.

Mr Gonsalves also added: “For those who do not want to buy a property, the private rented sector provides a choice for those who need a good solution and flexibility.”

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About S Thompson

Simon Thompson is Chairman of the Landlord Syndicate and CEO / Co Founder of Accommodation for Students Ltd.

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