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Revealed - landlords’ biggest bugbears with tenants

Lettings agency and property management consultancy Bramleys has revealed the most common landlord complaints, and has provided suggestions as to how to solve them.


Not showing up for viewing

Michelle McCarthy, lettings manager at Bramleys, advises: “We recommend confirming the full property address, plus the viewing date and time by emailing immediately after booking the viewing. This eliminates any confusion and means there’s less chance of people getting lost or turning up at the wrong property if they’re viewing multiple the same day. 


“Another tip would be to include your mobile phone number in the email, with a request for the viewer to call or text roughly an hour before the viewing and advise the viewer that if you don’t hear from them, you assume they won’t be attending.” 


Rent arrears / no payment

“If your tenant has failed to pay rent and you are using an agent to manage the property,they contact the tenant to secure the money. If you are a private landlord, you can begin getting the rent yourself, but you must do so legally. Firstly, contact the tenant followed by any guarantor to find out if this was a technical issue or genuinely a mistake.

“If you still can’t resolve payment, you can serve a Section 8 notice informing the tenant that if they don't pay within a further 14 days from this written communication, you intend to take them to court.”


Properties left a mess when moving out

“Dealing with messy tenants can be an excruciating experience; that is why you should provide regular inspections to minimise the repairs and works at the end of the tenancy. If your property still isn’t left in the best state, we would also recommend using the tenant’s deposit to pay for cleaning services.

“Cleaning charges are a common reason for deposit deductions, and covering those costs is precisely what the deposit is designed for.”


Not attending to the garden

“We recommend landlords clarify all garden maintenance responsibilities in the tenancy agreement and make sure this is highlighted before signing. This will save time and reduce any future misunderstandings. Tenants are expected to abide by whatever is in their tenancy agreement, so if it's not included in there, it will be left down to you, the landlord.”


Claiming to have no pets, then moving one in
“While your first instinct is not to allow pets, with a lack of rental properties on the market that allow pets, being open to the idea could lead to a more extensive pool of tenants and the possibility to charge a premium rent.”


Other bugbears included not ventilating the property properly, resulting in mould and dampness, decorating without giving notice or asking for permission, reporting repairs but not allowing access to contractors, tenants performing poor repair jobs and complaints from neighbours, i.e. noise.

McCarthy summarises, “Renting out a property can be the perfect investment and provide a good source of income. However, landlords who deal with all tenant issues without assistance may experience greater pressure and stress. 

“Don’t overlook the prospect of using a property management company. The assistance of a professional could be hugely beneficial as they can support you with managing point of contact for tenants, ensuring that rent is paid on time, providing regular inspections, dealing with legal problems and you will often find less chance of tenant turnover. Make tenant retention a priority this year.”

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    My agent managing my property is a large well known company. They are useless. I asked for comprehensive referencing. Got a basic summary. Assumed the detail must be behind it and checked. All very poor. They didn’t fill out the deposit info correctly causing me
    Issues. All they do is act like a messenger service and give super expensive quotes for work. I wind up getting someone there myself.

    Waste of money.

    • S S
    • 24 May 2022 08:36 AM

    Easy to resolve - use an independent qualified agent - Corporates will never look after your property - you're just a number. A smaller independent agent cares - probably unlikely to add charges on top of charges and will look after your property as if it was their own.


    I fully agree with S S , I use a small independent in Norwich and get excellent service .


    I nearly went for a cheaper independent too. I wish I had.

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    Bugbears are all very well, the challenge is how to predict which tenants will create them. Sometimes it's the ones you don't expect. All tenants will say they will pay the rent, they will keep the place nice and look after the garden. Some claim they will make improvements, but they rarely do. I don't think agents are any better at predicting this than the average landlord. Also I'm not sure there is less turnover when using an agent?

    In order of annoyance:
    Not paying the rent
    Damage to the property including black mould and poor redecorating
    Leaving the garden in a state
    Pet damage including carpets having to be replaced
    Being rude and unpleasant

    If they don't turn up for the viewing that's fine, I can cross them off the list as time-wasters.
    I have nice tenants, but I am happy for them to move on as I would be able to increase the rent significantly!! So not that bothered about tenant retention in the current market.


    I have a good tenant moving on in the next few weeks, (increase in family size) it will give me a chance to renew the kitchen ceiling, lick of paint and a big increase in rent.

  • icon

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