By Bea Patel, TLE Property Editor and Director of Shop for an Agent
Time is money, a phrase once used by Benjamin Franklin in Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One – and one that stands true to rental properties.
Undoubtedly, there are rogue landlords taking advantage of tenants or providing sub-standard properties. But on the other side of the fence, new research shows landlords are clearing up after unprincipled tenants and left out of pocket.
The research revealed the financial losses landlords experienced. 68 per cent found themselves out of pocket due to property damage caused by vacating tenants. Losses came from costs of rectifying damage and time taken for repairs, leaving homes unnecessarily empty – on average around two weeks.
According to the landlords surveyed, the property damage comes in many forms, with five commonly recurring themes:
- 76 per cent needed to treat stained carpets in their properties.
- 67 per cent dealt with filthy ovens.
- 58 per cent had to redecorate to cover marked walls.
- 47 per cent wouldn’t take the time to upkeep gardens and outdoor spaces, even though it’s a sought-after attraction for tenants.
- 22 per cent faced damaged worktops, the most expensive and difficult problem to remedy.
38 per cent of landlords also claim that damage inflicted on their property appeared to have been caused by pets – scratched floors, torn carpets and marked woodwork, with 24 per cent saying this happened despite the tenancy agreement stating pets were not permitted.
For landlords, unreported property damage is the most frustrating part of leasing. As well as tackling cosmetic property problems, 54 per cent of landlords surveyed said they had unexpectedly had to repair broken facilities and utilities, such as cookers, gas boilers and showers, problems tenants should inform their landlord about once they are aware of the fault. These repairs can often lead to costs up to the value of one month’s rent.
Although 37 per cent of landlords said they were able to resolve the damage to their property themselves, 63 per cent admit to unnecessary frustration in completing the job properly, resulting in calling in a professional.
Fantastic Services who tackle all manners of DIY conducted this research. Rune Sovndahl, founder and ceo of Fantastic Services said: “Anyone who’s attempted to do some DIY home repairs will be aware that even the little jobs often turn out to be bigger than you might expect. Although you might start a job with the best intentions, you can often find that it costs much more time, effort and money to do it yourself than it would to get someone else in.
“The frustrations and time pressures become even more pressing when you’re trying to prepare a property for leasing out. If you’re a good landlord who wants their tenants to be happy and comfortable, you want the property to look its absolute best.”
Image credit: Fantastic Services