Over a quarter of UK private sector tenants would not inform their landlords about significant damage made to their property, with most instead opting to repair it themselves.
27 per cent of tenants would keep quiet having made major damage to their rental property, according to a survey from YouGov for property marketplace TheHouseShop. However, 15 per cent would hire a professional to repair the damage, whilst 11 per cent would attempt to sort it themselves. 1 per cent would try to sneakily conceal the damage, with all groups hoping that their landlord would never discover the problem which could range from broken windows to damage to shower or bathroom fixtures.
Of the 58 per cent who would report the damage to their landlord, 24 per cent would offer to pay the full repair bill whilst 7 per cent would offer a contribution. 27 per cent would wait and see if they were required to pay anything.
The firm’s co-founder, Nick Marr, said: ‘While the vast majority of tenants will not actively try to do damage to a property, accidents do happen, and even well-meaning and reliable tenants can end up inflicting significant damage during their tenancy. The best advice I could give to landlords would be to encourage an open and honest relationship with their tenants, so that tenants don’t feel scared or nervous about reporting any damages as soon as they happen. Having a direct relationship with your tenants, as opposed to using a third party agent or management service, can be a great way to build trust and avoid any nasty surprises further down the line.’
He emphasised the importance of landlords taking responsibility for the state of their properties: ‘However, it is important to remember that landlords should always conduct thorough checks and references on any potential tenants before they move into the property. That way you can hopefully avoid the nightmare tenant horror stories that so many landlords can recall in an instant.’