A third of tenants claim to have paid for repairs

A third of tenants claim to have paid for repairs

A third of renters claim they have fixed something in their rented home themselves rather than asking their landlord to do it.

This is one of the findings from research conducted by AA Home Membership. It says the average cost of a repair arranged by a tenant was £63.20 with one in six paying 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. One in seven has had a damaged carpet replaced or leaky pipe repaired while 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’. 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.

The AA says 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.

“Some of the repairs that tenants told us they’d undertaken might have been quite simple and cheap to fix. But some things – relating to gas and electrical problems for example, should only be carried out by properly qualified professionals. It could be useful for landlords to leave details of somebody the tenant could contact in their absence, such as a trusted tradesperson.”