Half of all tenants have had bad experience with landlord or agent, claim

Half of all tenants have had bad experience with landlord or agent, claim

A new group says that 37% of tenants would not rent another property from their current agent or landlord and that nearly half (46%) have had deposit disputes.

The Tenants’ Voice, set up last year with the catchline ‘Look before you lease’, found that in a survey of 2,000 UK tenants, more than half (51%) have reported bad experiences with landlords or letting agents.

While apparently a campaigning group for tenants, the website is also setting out its agenda as a commercial platform for letting agents. It is offering them the chance to become ‘accredited’ by Tenants Voice, insisting on Client Money Protection, and says that in time it will generate leads and offer advertising opportunities for agents.

The site claims to have over 10,000 members and says it is “on track to reach approximately 100,000 in 2014”.

In its survey, it says almost seven in ten (69%) tenants said the service from letting agents was at best average when it came to carrying out general maintenance, with more than a third (36%) claiming letting agents were poor at keeping the property in good order.
More than four in ten tenants (42%) said letting agents were poor or very poor at responding to issues or emergencies, while a quarter of tenants (25%) rated letting agents poor or very poor in terms of being accessible and easy to contact.

More than a third (36%) said letting agents were poor or very poor at providing clear deadlines. And more than half (55%) said agents were poor or very poor at actively listening to what tenants needed.
Asked about the quality of their rented accommodation, almost four in ten (39%) tenants said properties were generally tired and in need of updating, with 17% saying they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the overall condition of the properties they had rented.
On termination of a rental, only 57% of tenants said their tenancies had ended amicably. One in seven (14%) revealed they had never had a tenancy that had ended on friendly terms, with 15% admitting that less than half of their rentals had ended on friendly terms.
On the subject of letting agent fees, tenants were asked what fees were reasonable for a letting agent to charge. Four in ten said letting agents shouldn’t be charging tenants any fees at all. However, 18% considered charging a holding fee acceptable and 11% said registration fees were reasonable.
Finally, tenants were asked about landlord and letting agents being officially accredited. More than half of tenants (57%) said they considered it important that their landlord or letting agent was accredited by an organisation or letting agent focused scheme.
Glenn Nickols, director of The Tenants’ Voice, said: “It’s clear there’s still much to be done to improve the relationship between tenants, landlords and letting agents. This is especially important as more and more people are facing or choosing to rent longer term.

“Rent is the biggest monthly outgoing tenants have and it often prohibits many from being able to save for their own homes. To have more than half of this community dissatisfied and disillusioned with what they get for that monthly investment is clearly not acceptable.”