Latest figures have indicated that landlords in Britain shell out a huge £4.5bn per year to fix property damage caused by their tenants. In addition, rent arrears account for around £900m per annum in costs.
Data from research conducted by TDS suggests that thousands of landlords are faced with property damage at the conclusion of a tenancy agreement. The most-common issues are broken appliances, damage to carpets and unauthorised decoration.
According to statistics from the report, damage to property amounts to 56% of all deposit disputes. What’s more, TDS reports that 19.2% of all disputes raised resulted in 100% pay-out to tenants. On the other hand, 19.8% of deposit disputes saw landlords and agents paid out in full. In the remaining 61% of cases, monies were split between the different parties.
Founder and CEO of Imfuna Let, Jax Kneppers noted, ‘many landlords feel tenants are not held to account when damage is caused and that there is little they can do to protect their property. Furthermore, landlords have a poor record in winning tenant dispute cases.’
Kneppers believes however that, ‘this could be changed dramatically if they ensure a few simple procedures are put in place at the start of a new tenancy agreement. For example, ensuring there is a fair contract in place for a new tenant along with a thorough and detailed inventory, will enable both parties to be treated fairly and reasonably. Time and time again, landlords are losing disputes because they’re not providing the right evidence to show that a tenant has damaged the property.’
Property damage costs landlords £4.5bn per year
Mr Kneppers went on to say that, ‘the best way for landlords to protect their property and avoid a dispute is by ensuring that the condition of the property is fully recorded at the start of the tenancy, with a comprehensive inventory, along with a through check-in and check-out report.
All UK landlords are permitted to provide a detailed inventory to their tenants at the beginning of a new tenancy agreement.
Kneppers concluded by saying that Imfuna Let, ‘work with many landlords and agents who have managed to reduce property damage by carrying out mid-term inspections, supported by a thorough and professional inventory.’