A BBC TV show challenging landlords to spend a week living in one of their own rentals, on their tenant's budget, provides a real eye opener for the letting industry, not least because it highlights the fact that poor communication remains a problem for landlords, tenants, and managing agents, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
The BBC One’s latest reality TV programme, The Week the Landlords Moved In, which is currently airing on Wednesdays at 9pm, forces landlords to see life through their tenants, and allows them to gain firsthand experience of what it is like to encounter problems in rental properties, from mould and damp to broken windows and rubbish left from previous tenancies.
“It's been interesting to watch this series and see that arguably the most significant problem for tenants, landlords or those managing rental properties is a lack of communication,” said Danny Zane, joint Chair of the AIIC.
“Tenants failing to report maintenance issues or their landlords or managers failing to deal with requests resulted in some fairly serious problems in these properties which could have been avoided with better communication.”
Alongside a lack of communication, another issue raised by the series is a lack of site visits and inspections.
When the landlords taking part in the programme actually visited their properties, the true extent of some of the problems became instantly apparent.
Emma Glencross, AIIC’s joint chair, commented: “Mid-term inspections and regular site visits to rental properties are essential.
“If landlords and property managers can attend to problems quickly, this is better for the tenant and the long-term condition of the property.
“It’s well-known that small maintenance issues left to get worse over a long period of time could end up costing a landlord a significant amount of money at the end of a tenancy.”