Concerning research has found that there is substantial confusion to whom responsibilities such as maintenance and upkeep fall in rental properties.
A survey from landlord and tenant insurance provider Endsleigh reveals that the largest discrepancy between tenants and landlords relates to meter readings both at the beginning and end of their agreements. 73% of landlords rightly believe that it’s the responsibility of their tenants to carry out this task, with only 35% of tenants feeling that it is their duty.
Additionally, 60% of tenants were said to believe that it is the landlord’s duty to sort out paintwork, with 45% of landlords saying that this role falls to the tenant.
Pest control is another common reason for dispute. 32% of landlords questioned in the survey said that they feel this issue is down to the tenant to manage. However, a significant majority of 84% of tenants believe that pest control is the responsibility of their landlord.
‘Relationships between landlords and tenants can become strained when rental responsibilities aren’t fulfilled,’ said Marcus Latchford, who is Endsleigh’s lettings and landlords manager. ‘However, sometimes it’s just a case of one side being unaware of their responsibilities,’ he continued. Individual contracts will often spell out who should be taking care of what, but the small print is often the last place people look.’
Jessica Alomankeh, projects coordinator at the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme said that some aspects of the tenant/landlord relationship were confusing. She noted that, ‘landlords deal with repairs to fixtures and fittings, boiler servicing, as well as arrange buildings insurance if the property is furnished. Tenants look after tasks such as keeping the garden in check and the internet installation. For tasks such as pest control and touching up paintwork, the landlord is responsible.’
‘What’s more, at the beginning of a tenancy, landlords should provide tenants with an inventory pack, containing contact details of the current service providers. It’s then up to the tenant to check metre readings and set up new payments with the suppliers,’ she added.