If you are a well seasoned landlord then you probably don’t need a study telling you what the main causes of disputes between yourself and tenants are, for the majority of landlords, ‘property damage’ will roll right of your tongue. For others it will be tenants not paying up on time or carrying out some unannounced DIY.
A survey conducted by Online Letting Agents reveals 58% of landlords have had disputes over property damage while the tenant had been living at the premises or after they had moved out. Exactly half of landlords have had disputes over decorating and 42% due to rental arrears and cleaning.
Figures also reveal that two thirds of landlords took disputes to court, with 20% of the disputed amounts being over £1,000. Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that the number of landlords taking disputes to court is on the rise.
Taking tenants to court however wasn’t always the most effective way of settling disputes, with 62% of legal notices served being incorrectly, delaying the process. Many landlords have tried to undertake the process themselves however risk having their cases thrown out of the courts if documents aren’t properly prepared.
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Letting agents advise landlords that if they want to avoid disputes, it is paramount that they carry out a professional inventory at the start and end of a tenancy. Regular checks for damages or alterations to the property should also be carried out. If the tenant isn’t present at the time, make a copy of your findings and send them it to sign it.
Another way to avoid disputes is to be realist in charging tenants for things such as cleaning. If you are a dentists and carry out the cleaning work yourself over a day, it would be unfair to charge the tenants £100’s just because that is what you are paid elsewhere. Any amount landlords request from tenants should be well justified and based on evidence that it is a fair sum.
The risks of damage being done to your property by tenants is far too great to avoid. For all landlords it is likely that damages will occur at some point in time due to an accident taking place or from general wear and tear however intentional damage is also an occurrence.
To protect against damages, it is essential that landlords have comprehensive landlord insurance that will cover them from damage done to their property. Compare Crazy allows you to compare the leading insurance providers, enabling you to get comprehensive protection from damages at an affordable price.