Tenants' property maintenance delays are costing landlords

Wednesday 14th December 2016

The average landlord is spending £2,360 each year on essential maintenance, according to new research.
LV= calculates that the UK's approximate 1.75 million private landlords are therefore spending a combined £4.1 billion on property maintenance each year. 
A quarter of landlords surveyed by the financial services firm admitted that they felt that tenants delaying reporting issues has resulted in more costly repairs. 
The study, in which over 250 landlords and over 900 tenants were polled, has revealed that many landlords rely on their tenants for what is turning out to be costly information. 
More landlords appear to be negotiating these problems alone, with 25% admitting they manage maintenance issues without the help of a property management company.
LV= warns landlords who wait for tenants to inform them of problems that they could be putting their investment at risk. 
It reports that tenants aged between 18 and 34 are the most likely to put off fixing problems or refrain from informing their landlord. 
Almost four in ten of the tenants surveyed as part of the study said that they felt maintenance work can wait unless it is an emergency.
This attitude could prove costly for landlords as when maintenance problems are left for a longer period of time, they are likely to get worse and subsequently cost more. 
“Keeping up with home maintenance can be a tough and time-consuming job at the best of times, but it can be especially tricky for landlords and their tenants as there may be confusion about where the responsibility lies," says Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of home and landlord insurance at LV=.
"Generally landlords handle structural repairs and any issues with water, heating or electrical systems, but renters may be expected to do minor repairs, so should check their contract if they aren’t sure."
"It’s important to keep on top of maintenance, as ignoring problems in the home can lead to more serious issues developing, which could be costly in the long run.”

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