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Over half of UK tenants have problems with landlords and letting agents and two thirds don’t consider if their letting agent or landlord is licensed, new research has found. The research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) also found that the top issue is the time it takes to fix problems and on average tenants wait just over a month for issues to be resolved. For those who didn’t consider whether their landlord or agent was licensed, some 54% said it didn’t even cross their mind to check, while 23% did not know that letting agents or landlords should be licensed and 12% wrongly assumed that all letting agents and landlords were licensed and therefore do not know the difference in standards they can expect. This lack of knowledge around the industry may be the reason for many problems which arise during a tenancy, according to ARLA. The research also found before they’d signed on the dotted line, 22% of tenants had concerns about their landlord or letting agent, doubling to 43% amongst Londoners. The most common problems faced by would be tenants at this stage were lack of clarity around fees (8%), agents not knowing enough about the property (6%), being pushy (6%) and not turning up to appointments (6%). Whilst 45% haven’t had any problems with their landlord or letting agent over the last five years, 55% of the tenant population have experienced at least one problem. The most common issue which affected 31% was the amount of time it had taken to fix any problems such as boilers, heating and electricity. Once a problem was flagged, tenants had to wait 36 days on average for the issue to be resolved and an unfortunate one in seven never had their problems sorted. The next most common problem was landlords not replacing old items such as kitchen cupboards and worn carpets, affecting 18% of tenants. For 14% the biggest problem was that they felt their complaints fell on deaf ears. ‘Our home is our castle, and there is no reason for it to not be fit for a King. Just because you rent a property it should not impact your levels of enjoyment, especially as there is such a high price to pay for renting,’ said ARLA managing director David Cox. ‘For anyone looking to rent, there are basic boxes to tick to ensure you receive the best possible end result and this starts with choosing your letting agent and landlord. Choosing an unlicensed letting agent could leave tenants with a long list of problems,’ he added. The research also revealed that for 37% of tenants, the problems they experienced with their landlord or letting agent led to them being stressed and 16% admitted to having sleepless nights. As well as emotional results, many tenants were also left out of pocket, with 14% spending a lot of their own money, and 9% moving out of the property and unfairly losing their deposit. ‘While problems can of course arise during a… Continue reading →
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