A rising number of landlords in the UK are ignoring their tenants’ request for repairs and routine maintenance, it is claimed.
According to recent research for the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), many are also holding back from putting in requests for fear of eviction.
Despite the urgent nature of many repairs, only 31% of tenants’ requests were dealt with even in the same day while 23% took more than a week, say the AIIC.
Some 34% have had to contend with a home emergency in the past 12 months, with boiler faults and central heating problems the most common.
An estimated quarter of million tenants a year are taking matters into their own hands and withholding rent from their landlords because of delays around emergency repairs.
Housing charity Shelter earlier this year said that more than 200,000 private tenants across England are believed to have faced ‘revenge eviction’ in the last year after asking for problems in the property to be resolved.
Some 2% of private sector tenants said they had been evicted or served an eviction notice because they had complained to their landlord, letting agent or council over something that was the landlord’s responsibility, such as a repair that needed fixing.
“Landlords have a duty of care with their tenants and should be responding to emergencies in hours, not days,” says Pat Barber, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.
In one case a tenant was so afraid of his landlord that he lived in a freezing property for three months without reporting there was a problem. When asked why he didn’t report it, he said that the landlord was aggressive and had refused to take his phone call or respond to emails.
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