Tenants unsure of their responsibilities

Research has revealed that there is a lot of confusion between landlords and tenants about who is responsible for what under a tenancy agreement.

The survey by MakeItCheaper.com found that 43% of tenants were unsure of their responsibilities.

Indeed, 11% of tenants said they knew more about the responsibilities within a private rental property than their landlord.

Whereas 48% of landlords said they knew better than the tenant.

The survey has also pinpointed the areas of dispute over the past year with furniture and appliances being the biggest source of contention with 14% of all disputes.

Landlord and tenant disputes revealed

That was closely followed at 13% for fixtures and fittings and mould issues was a source of 12% of disputes.

The growing question of energy efficiency for rental properties was the source of 6% of disputes while utility bills led to 2% of disagreements.

The survey also revealed there’s also a great deal of ambiguity between the terms ‘damage’ and ‘fair wear and tear’ with 25% of tenants wanting clarification on the topic.

The research also underlined concerns by a tenant’s age group with those aged between 18 and 24 not understanding the rules on internal decor.

Those aged between 25 and 34 were confused about who should be paying for insurance while those over 35 wanted more clarity on rights of access.

Guide to responsibilities in a rental property

To help landlords and tenants, MakeItCheaper.com has put together a guide which defines responsibilities in a rental property.

The survey also revealed that 85% of tenants rated their landlord’s management of the property as ‘average’ while 60% rated it as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

When tenants were asked about the qualities a landlord needed, more than 65% said they valued and honest landlord who fixed issues they were responsible for.

The survey also revealed that 15% of tenants have unresolved disputes take place in the past year.

Judicial review of landlords’ licensing scheme sought

Landlords in one London borough are seeking a judicial review over a council’s decision for bringing in a landlord licensing scheme.

The council in question is Croydon who have confirmed a judicial review application has been filed against it.

Local newspaper reports have also revealed that the action is being brought by an anonymous group of landlords.

This particular scheme was brought in before the rules on selective licensing were changed; it’s now more difficult for large scale schemes to be introduced.

Any council wanting to do so now needs the approval of the Communities’ Secretary.

Selective licensing schemes for landlords

A selective licensing scheme requires a private landlord having to pay for a licence for every property they own within a designated area.

The process bars any landlord who has abused a tenant’s rights, or has convictions for fraud or violence.

The scheme also enables enforcement officers to take action against rogue landlords, badly managed properties and antisocial behaviour.

About S Thompson

Simon Thompson is Editor of Landlord News and CEO of AccommodationforStudents.com

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