Tenancy disputes now the norm for renting Londoners – The London Economic
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Tenancy disputes now the norm for renting Londoners

By Bea Patel, TLE Property Editor and Director of Shop for an Agent

New research shows the growing number of tenancy disputes in London. Research conducted by Weroom.com found that 60 per cent of tenants have experienced a tenancy dispute – illustrating how tenancy disputes with landlords and letting agencies have become the norm for London renters.

The research also revealed:

  • 67 per cent of London renters do not know their legal rights.
  • 53 per cent of non-Londoners decided to leave the capital city due to bad rental experiences, such as deposit disputes and rising rents.
  • 100 per cent of London renters would like to see the mayoral candidate do more to protect renters.
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Flatsharing

When questioned about the types of disputes experienced, 64 per cent of Londoners said their landlord held deposits with no grounds, and 25 per cent reported their landlords failed to protect their deposit in a government-backed Deposit Protection Scheme. Renters in North London were most affected, with 26 per cent still dealing with outstanding deposit disputes despite now living in new properties.

For London students, disputes almost doubled from 58 per cent to 94 per cent when flatsharing with people they knew versus those they didn’t. For young professionals the findings were similar, with disputes increasing from 53 per cent to 96 per cent when they knew their flat mates.

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Cleaning home

The research also revealed some Londoners admit to being the cause of tenancy disputes. Of those polled, 38 per cent confessed to leaving a tenancy owing unpaid rent or bills, with 28 per cent having lived with a flat mate who had left a property owing rent to a landlord.

The root of deposit disputes appear to be because Londoners aren’t fully aware of their rights and responsibilities as flatsharers and renters. When answering questions about their responsibilities, 38 per cent admitted to having no idea what was required of them as tenants. Renters in East London were the least aware, with only 57 per cent knowing their responsibilities, 27 per cent becoming aware of it when entering a dispute and 10 per cent said they didn’t care. On the positive, 33 per cent resolved disputes directly with their landlords and 19 per cent used third parties or mediators to resolve disputes.

The poll also revealed 90 per cent of 18-34 year olds are leaving London because of bad rental experiences. Weroom.com has launched a free Deposit Protection Guide. It includes information and advice on common deposit disputes, and how to avoid them.

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Garden Maintenance

Thomas Villeneuve, CEO of Weroom, commented: “Weroom’s research has revealed some sobering results and confirms that deposit disputes are becoming an inevitable part of the rental experience for Londoners. This has to stop! With the rental market growing and flatsharing becoming an important solution to London’s housing crisis, Londoners need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities to reduce the risk of tenancy disputes occurring in the first place. Weroom is committed to protecting all of our users, renters and landlords alike, which is why we are launching a new Deposit Protection Guide on our website to share insight and advice for flatsharers.”

Weroom has developed this free guide with Laura Hamilton, property expert and TV presenter. Laura added: “As the housing crisis continues to grow, particularly in London, tenants are unfortunately finding themselves in more and more tenancy disputes with landlords. Regardless of whether the tenant or landlord is at fault, both parties can take steps to minimise the chances of a dispute occurring in the first place. Knowing your rights and responsibilities will help nip any issues in the bid.”

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