Other worries raised by renters include concerns over their landlord increasing rent during the tenancy (27 per cent) and feeling worried about receiving notice to end a tenancy or facing eviction (19 per cent).
However, Admiral’s research suggest renters aren’t the only side feeling the strain.
Almost half of landlords surveyed have had rent payment issues while nearly a fifth have experienced aggression from tenants.
End of tenancy tension
Along with issues experienced during tenancies, Admiral’s research suggests the tension doesn’t stop when the tenancy ends, with 42 per cent of renters revealing they have experienced a dispute with their landlord or agent about their deposit when they moved out of the rental property.
On the other side, one in three landlords reported having to redecorate a property when tenants have moved out, with 28 per cent saying they have been left with damage to the property. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 21 per cent of landlords say they were not in a position to return all the deposit.
On average, landlords reported spending £1,770 in addition to the rental deposit on reasonable repairs to damage caused by previous tenants, with almost a quarter of landlords needing to withhold all the deposit for the same reason.
A fifth of landlords were faced with the stress of tenants refusing to leave when the rental contract ended.
According to industry sources the private rental sector has doubled over the last 10 years or so. Admiral Home Insurance research has highlighted some big issues facing both renters and landlords, and it’s important both parties feel protected by legislation.
Many of us have been spending more time in our homes over the last couple of years, and it’s more important than ever that we all feel comfortable and secure where we live. So it’s certainly worrying that so many renters feel their living arrangements are having a negative impact on their mental health.
But private landlords are also feeling the strain – many of those we spoke to have faced issues when it comes to payment or damage caused by tenants.
Rental reforms – what tenants and landlords want
Despite significant rental reforms expected in the coming months, including an end of Section 21 evictions and the introduction of lifetime deposits, Admiral’s research found four in 10 landlords and three quarters of tenants are not aware of the Rental Reform Bill.
When asked what they would like to see when it comes to rental reforms, the top request from renters was protection from rental increases, while the introduction of a national landlord register was the legislation most landlords agreed with.
Admiral Insurance has outlined some steps both landlords and tenants can take to make the rental experience as stress free as possible.
- Know your responsibilities as a landlord and stay up to date with changing legislation. There are many things to consider such as ‘right to rent’ checks, health and safety, maintenance and repairs as well as contracts and rents.
- Protect your belongings – if the property is furnished, ensure it is covered for any damage with contents insurance.
- Use a deposit protection scheme as this will help if you need to retain part or all of the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
- Consider using an agent to manage your property. Not only will this help if your time is restricted or you don’t live near your rented property, but a good management agent should be knowledgeable about a landlord's responsibilities.
- Do not try to enter your property without permission and never turn up unannounced. Give tenants notice to carry out repairs and maintenance.
- Seek legal advice to make sure you are using the correct tenancy agreement and follow the correct legal procedures if you want to end a tenancy. If in doubt, seek professional advice.
- Get a tenancy agreement in place as this should define your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. If a landlord won’t provide one, this should ring alarm bells,
- What is a reasonable repair? Consult your tenancy agreement to check the landlord's responsibilities for repairs and maintenance and be realistic about what is considered reasonable. If you make a request, give the landlord reasonable time and access to carry out repairs.
- Protect your belongings – it's a tenant's responsibility to take out contents insurance to cover their own damaged or stolen belongings.
- Keep the property clean and in good repair – it is reasonable to expect your landlord may keep all or part of your deposit if the property requires redecoration, cleaning and repairs at the end of the tenancy.
- Be a good neighbour, it goes without saying that excess noise, untidiness and antisocial behaviour will not get the neighbours on side and may lead them make a complaint to your landlord.
* Noel Summerfield is head of household at Admiral Insurance *
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