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Some two thirds of tenants in the UK have had to dip into their own pockets to fund repairs because they could not wait for the landlord any longer, it is claimed. A new study shows that 55% of tenants spent up to £50 to sort out a repair and that half of tenants would like landlords to deal with repairs quicker. Two thirds of tenants say that it takes their landlord too long to respond to emails and calls about problems. The research from online agents Property Let By Us also reveals that just a third of tenants would rather deal with a landlord than a letting agent and one in six tenants have experienced bad landlords in the past. However, over 80% say their landlord is approachable and friendly and only 12% of tenants claim their landlord has made promises that he/she could not keep. The recent case of Edwards v Kumarasamy, highlights the legal responsibility that landlords have under the statutory requirements of Landlords Repairing Obligations, part of the Landlord & Tenant Act. Edwards was a tenant renting a flat from Kumarasamy. This case features his claim for compensation, when he tripped on an uneven paving slab on the outside path to the parking and communal bins area. A new Court of Appeal held that as the landlord had a right to use the path under his lease from the freeholder, he had a sufficient ‘estate or interest’ in the area to satisfy section 11 and so was liable for the repair. It means that landlords and agents doing inspections need to monitor the exterior areas of properties to ensure that they are safe and that any necessary repairs are done promptly. ‘There are many professional landlords in the buy to let market that are responsive to tenant communications about problems and issues. However, there are a few bad landlords that neglect their tenants and put lives at risk,’ said Jane Morris, managing director of Property Let By Us. ‘Every landlord has a duty of care and should respond to tenants emails and calls with 24 hours if possible. While it may not be possible to deal with repairs immediately, it is important that landlords maintain open communications with their tenants, so they can provide updates on timing etc. Communication is key and the landlord should keep the tenant informed of the action,’ she explained. The research shows that the most common cause of complaints are faulty boilers followed by leaking roofs, faulty showers, mould and condensation, leaking bathroom and window locks, broken windows, smoke alarms and pests and vermin. ‘Some of these can be very dangerous for the tenants, so it imperative that landlords carry out repairs to their properties within a reasonable time,’ added Morris. Property Let By Us has put together some guidelines on landlord response times for tenant complaints…. Continue reading →
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