New research reveals that over half of landlords (58%) cite damage to property as the no 1 cause of tenant disputes, followed by redecoration (50%), cleaning and rent arrears (42% respectively).
The study*, conducted by The Online Letting Agents, shows that two thirds of landlords went to court to settle disputes and for 20% of landlords, the disputed amount was over £1,000. (*Source: Survey amongst 300 landlords, June 2014).
The majority of landlords who experienced a dispute over rent arrears say that the average time of late payment was six weeks, while 20% had to wait over four months for payment of outstanding rent.
The research also shows that despite the importance of inventories in helping to solve disputes, a fifth of landlords admit to failing to carry out check-in and check-outs.
Eleanor Carroll, Director of The Online Letting Agents commented: “Our research shows that damage to property is a major problem for landlords during, or at the end of a tenancy and rent arrears remain a big problem. Rising numbers of landlords are using the courts to resolve their disputes.
“In fact, recent figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) shows that between January and March 2014, landlords in England and Wales went to court to make 47,220 claims to repossess property – the equivalent of 525 a day.
“To help avoid disputes, it is vital that landlords carry out a professional inventory with a check-in and check-out at the start and end of a tenancy, to protect their property and deposit. What’s more, landlords should make regular visits to check for damage during the tenancy.”
The Online Letting Agents offer landlords full management, tenant find and referencing services and advertises properties on all the major UK property websites. For further information, visit www.theonlinelettingagents.co.uk or call 03300 883 973.