The growing problem of tenants damaging their rental property could be resolved if landlords visited their properties more frequently, says one organisation.
Imfuna, a digital inventory app provider, says that issues over property damage have risen by 29% over the past four years and now account for 52% of all property disputes.
The firm says that property damage leaves landlords out of pocket and points to a news story in the summer which saw a landlord forking out £10,000 for legal costs and refurbishment of their property and suffering months of lost rent.
Imfuna's chief executive, Jax Kneppers, said: “It's important for landlords as well as agents to have regular property inspection so they can pinpoint problem tenants early even if they've been thoroughly vetted previously.
“It's also important to record the property's condition before a tenancy begins.”
Problems with the rental property can be discussed
During these routine inspections any problems with the rental property can then be discussed with the tenants openly and they can be shown images of the home before the tenancy began.
These images can then be compared with the home’s current condition with floors often receiving the most damage followed by doors, skirting boards and window frames.
The director of Balgores Property, Howard Lester, told one news outlet that his organisation has a template for conducting regular property management visits which helps landlords, tenants and letting agents be transparent throughout the tenancy.
In addition, these conversations enable the discussion of any damage to be assessed and for items to be replaced or repaired.
A reduction of 42% in the number of tenant disputes
He said: “The properties we manage have seen a reduction of 42% in the number of tenant disputes since we can identify property damage early and discuss with tenants how to resolve issues.”
He added that damage from pet owning is a growing issue and the regular visits help to identify tenants who are breaking their lease terms.
It's also important for landlords that the tenants are present when the checkout is conducted so any potential dispute can be resolved early with the use of images being used to show the condition of the property when the tenancy began and ended.
Problems with ‘nightmare’ landlords
Meanwhile, research from Help-Link has revealed that one in five tenants describe their renting conditions as 'a nightmare'.
The study found that one of the biggest issues is damp.
Tenants also say that a fifth of landlords failed to respond to their complaint or did not communicate with them and a quarter of tenants say they don't have functional heating for the property.