13th November 2014
While one of the perks of renting – as opposed to owning your property – is not having to pay for household repairs but new research shows that many tenants are footing such bills themselves.
An analysis by insurance firm AA Home Membership shows that a third of renters, at 34%, have paid for maintenance and repair work, rather than asking their landlord to do it.
The findings reveal that the average cost of a repair arranged by a tenant was £63.20 but one in six paid more than £100.
A blocked drain or faulty shower topped the list of household mishaps – each experienced by one in five tenants. One in six paid to fix faulty wiring or a broken lock or key while one in seven has had a damaged carpet replaced or leaky pipe repaired. One in 14 shelled out for a boiler repair.
Half of those who fixed something said it was because it was ‘quicker and easier to do it themselves’ while a quarter said they caused the fault and felt responsible for repairing it, while one in eight said their landlord refused to help.
Another 6% said they had a clumsy landlord who tried to fix the problem but made it worse. But, according to the research, only one in 10 tenants is actually responsible for household repairs.
The majority of tenants were visited by their landlord the same day, though almost a third had to wait more than a week for them to help out.
Helen Brooker, head of AA Home Membership said: “Not being responsible for repairs is often seen as a perk of renting. Some landlords may accuse tenants of not taking care of properties but our research shows they seem to be more conscientious than they’re often given credit for.
“The relationship between landlords and tenants can be rather fragile and fallouts over repairs are quite common. Having clear guidelines about who is responsible for particular issues could be helpful, as could having reasonable expectations as to how landlords will deal with household repairs.”