The BBC recently carried out a survey via their Affordable Living UK Facebook group to find out whether tenants of private landlords felt they were receiving a positive or negative experience.
Here is a summary of the major conclusions.
• Flexibility. We live in a gig economy and many people rely on short term employment or freelance work. The flexibility of being able to move to a new home in a new area at relatively short notice is a positive boon to many young people.
• No maintenance responsibilities. This appeared high on a lot of people’s agendas. The fact is that if the boiler breaks down a tenant needs simply ring the landlord or his agent and it will be fixed. Not having to worry about major maintenance issues or building insurance is seen as a positive aspect of renting, providing the landlord or his agent is fulfilling their responsibilities of course.
• The cost. Many tenants feel that rent levels are too high and this is especially true of expensive areas of the country, in particular London and the South East. This is always likely to be a bone of contention and landlords will argue rents are simply driven by market forces.
• Bad landlords. There is no doubt that there are a few landlords out there who get the majority a bad name, whether it is by not maintaining their properties or quibbling over returning the last £1 of a deposit. As a rule, however, tenants accept that rogue landlords are very much in the minority. A good agent will always aim to maintain responsible relations between a tenant and his client of course.
• Insecurity. While many tenants value the flexibility of short term tenancies, as we have already seen, others fear being asked to move out at short notice. This is especially true of those with young families who are looking to put down roots. A good agent will know which of his clients are looking for tenants for potentially longer term lettings and work towards pleasing both parties.