The most pressing issues for tenants in the private rental sector are poor communication issues and taking too long to resolve issues with the property according to the latest research from property technology firm Engage.
49 per cent of tenants have claimed to experience issues with communication and slow repairs according to the survey. These problems were most prevalent among the younger generation, with 76 per cent of those in the 18-24 age bracket experiencing such issues.
Another commonly felt problem was that of disconnection from the community, with a fifth of renters claiming that being a tenant rather than a homeowner separated them from their owners. 25 per cent of 18-24 year olds felt this way, however this figure fell with age to just 15 per cent of those 55 and over.
13 per cent felt that the rental application period which can drag on for up to six weeks was long and cumbersome, whilst others felt annoyance when trying to contact an elusive landlord. The latter was a particular issue with landlords in the capital, with those in London four times more likely to experience frustration contacting their landlord than those renting in Northern Ireland, for example.
Managing director of Engage, Mitesh Patel, encouraged landlords to consider the service they offer. He said: ‘Renters demand high levels of customer service, not another reason to complain. This presents a key challenge for the market. After all, unhappy tenants are quicker to move on, which heightens the chances of a property becoming empty, leaving the landlord, agent or housing association out of pocket.’
He continued: ‘In addition, many new rental properties that have been created in the private rental sector lack a well-established community on their doorstep and therefore it’s understandable many tenants feel disenfranchised. As an industry the rental sector is lagging behind probably every other industry in terms of customer service. But by thinking of tenants as customers and putting them at the core of all services, landlords can capitalise on the opportunities the growing market presents.’