Renting relationships: What are the most common issues between tenants and landlords?

With over two-fifths of both landlords and tenants experiencing issues when renting, the relationship between the two can be temperamental.

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We have surveyed both landlords and tenants, including those who worked with letting agents and those who rented privately, to get a better understanding of the main issues and shed light on how renting relationships can be improved.  

Nearly a third of landlords are not given back their property in an appropriate condition

furnished property

Based on the survey results we looked at the top issues that landlords experienced and found: 

  1. 49% of landlords say money was not received from their tenants at the correct time 
  2. 36% said they were not given back their property in an appropriate condition
  3. 34% of landlords experienced poor communication with their tenants

The most common issue, which nearly half of landlords (49%) have experienced, was that money was not received at the correct time from their tenants. Our free rent collection service can ease the pressure of this by reminding tenants of upcoming payments so landlords don’t have to, and our Rent Guarantee Insurance can ensure that regardless of missed tenant payments, landlords receive the correct monthly income. 

The second most common issue, which over a third of landlords (36%) experienced, was that they were not given back their property in an appropriate condition. Landlords can make use of our Inventory Check-In and Out Service to get a detailed description of each room so they remain aware of the state of their property at the beginning of the tenancy and hold tenants accountable when they leave the property. 

Finally, the third most common issue, which 34% of landlords experienced, was poor communication with their tenants. Both landlords and tenants should ensure they are easy to reach and work to communicate effectively when problems arise to reduce the need to escalate them and take legal action.

Over 1 in 5 tenants would rent directly from a landlord in the future

keys being handed

Tenants on the other hand are faced with different issues, with the top three being: 

  1. 62% of tenants experienced a lack of repairs for maintenance issues
  2. 33% said there was poor communication with the landlord 
  3. 18% said when they were handed the keys to the property it was not in the appropriate condition

With 62% of tenants experiencing a lack of repairs for maintenance issues, nearly a third (31%) also said that these were never resolved, with one respondent even having to wait 300 days before their maintenance problem was sorted. Landlords can keep on top of maintenance by taking out our compliance reminder service. This keeps track of their property’s maintenance certificates and notifies them when they are due for renewal.

The second most common issue, that 33% of tenants experienced, was poor communication with the landlord – much as landlords said of tenants. 

But perhaps more importantly, 16% of tenants and 34% of landlords also stated that the letting agent promised to speak to the other party about issues, yet failed to follow up. Accordingly, poor communication could well be a result of a letting agent in many cases – and 22% of tenants said that next time they would rent directly from a landlord instead.

The third most common issue for tenants, which nearly one in five people experienced, was when they were handed the keys to the property it was not in the appropriate condition. Tenants should make sure to ask relevant questions during property viewings so that they have a better understanding of whether their expectations will be met when it comes to the condition of the property.  

Two-thirds of respondents had issues when using a letting agent

With the survey revealing the importance of communication, and how letting agents may be impacting this, we wanted to gain more clarity on both parties’ overall experience when using one. The majority (59%) of all respondents used a letting agent, but 66% claimed they experienced issues of varying degrees when using one. Over half of the tenants (54%) and over three-quarters of landlords (77%) had problems talking with their letting agent, with 28% of landlords claiming the agent’s jargon confused them. 

There are also differences across the UK in where landlords and tenants experience the worst communication with letting agents. Over a third of landlords and tenants in Glasgow experienced bad communication with their agent, the highest across the UK, compared with Plymouth where no one highlighted this as a problem. 

City

Respondents that experienced overall poor communication with letting agent (%)

Glasgow

36%

Manchester

31%

Birmingham

29%

Newcastle

29%

Leeds

29%

59% of tenants and landlords are not kept up to date with their rights and legal changes by their letting agent 

man signing documentation

Another prevalent issue, experienced by 59% of all respondents, was that they were 

not kept up to date with their rights and legal changes by the letting agent. With both parties highlighting this, it is suggested that letting agents fail to maintain consistent communication with their clients and are unaware of changes to their contracts. 

A high proportion of both landlords (50%) and tenants (40%) also had to replace household fixtures that were broken within the property themselves as opposed to being able to rely on a letting agent. 

When looking ahead, 26% of landlords and 22% of tenants would choose to rent privately in the future, highlighting that a major issue within a renting relationship is due to the intermediary of a letting agent. 

With 57% of all respondents highlighting a lack of good communication with the other party as a main issue, it is clear that to better the renting relationship, this needs to improve. By removing the letting agent, and streamlining the communication some of these issues could be eradicated and renters and landlords will begin to see their relationship improve. 

Another prevalent issue, experienced by 59% of all respondents, was that they were not kept up to date with their rights and legal changes by the letting agent. With both parties highlighting this, it is suggested that letting agents fail to maintain consistent communication with their clients and are unaware of changes to their contracts. 

A high proportion of both landlords (50%) and tenants (40%) also had to replace household fixtures that were broken within the property themselves as opposed to being able to rely on a letting agent. 

When looking ahead, 26% of landlords and 22% of tenants would choose to rent privately in the future, highlighting that a major issue within a renting relationship is due to the intermediary of a letting agent. 

With 57% of all respondents highlighting a lack of good communication with the other party as a main issue, it is clear that to better the renting relationship, this needs to improve. By removing the letting agent, and streamlining the communication some of these issues could be eradicated and renters and landlords will begin to see their relationship improve. 

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