Tenants in the UK pay an average of £217 each per year to fix repairs in their homes which should have been covered by a landlord, new research has revealed.
The most common things they’ve had to use their own money to pay for include broken boilers, showers, baths, and toilets.
Often the reason they’ve had to pay is because they’ve been kept waiting months while a landlord should have fixed a problem.
The most common repairs paid for by tenants include boilers, showers, baths and toilets
Almost half of those who rent also admit to not fully trusting their landlord, the research from rental company UNCLE revealed.
Of the 2,000 renters asked by the company, 33 per cent had paid themselves to fix a broken boiler, 22 per cent had paid to get a broken baths and showers fixed, and 21 per cent had to pay to fix a toilet.
One in five said when a landlord had paid out for a repair, they had been kept waiting more than a month, while 9 per cent had waited more than three months.
Tenants were also asked about how their landlord had affected their lives and 21 per cent said their relationship with their landlord was so bad it had affected their physical or mental health.
One in 10 said their landlord was so negligent their lives had been endangered.
Seven per cent also said difficulties they had experienced with a landlord had endangered their own relationship with their partner.
Respondents were also asked to list the failings they had experienced with landlords and 14 per cent said a deposit was unfairly kept from them, 12.5 per cent said the landlord had moved into the home without permission, 12.4 per cent said the rent had increased within a fixed contract.
Ryan Prince, founder and CEO of UNCLE said: ‘For too long, dodgy landlords have had all the power. Our findings show there is a clear need for change in the UK.
‘We’re not living in feudal times any more and here at UNCLE, we believe people deserve better.’
While Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said: ‘At Shelter, we constantly hear from renters living in misery at the mercy of slapdash landlords who side-step the law. Our own research shows living in bad housing conditions can affect people’s mental health and it’s absolutely unacceptable that tenants are being left out of pocket too.
21 per cent of tenants said a landlord experience affected their physical or mental health
‘Often, councils are powerless to crack down on irresponsible landlords because they simply don’t have the resources. With more and more families stuck in private renting, the government must act by giving councils the funds they desperately need to tackle the issue head-on.’
If you’re renting and facing problems with a landlord or estate agent, you do have options such as contacting your local council.
Landlords have certain responsibilities and are responsible for repairs to the exterior and structure of the property. This includes, the roof, chimney, walls, guttering and drains and they also need to make sure there is a safe supply of water, gas and electricity.
If this isn’t happening, or they’re harassing you, threatening you or have gone against the tenancy contract and done something like increased your rent without notice, you can complain.
First, contact them directly and address the issue. Take notes and make sure you are aware of what they are happy to do and what they are refusing to do.
If they refuse to sort the problem, you can make an official complaint by putting in writing what has happened and contacting them. Explain what has happened and what you expect them to do about it, dates and times of when the problem started, receipts for anything extra you’ve had to pay out for and photographs.
If you’re still getting nowhere get in touch with your local council. It can help if the repairs needed are causing a risk to your health and safety, you’re being threatened with or have been illegally evicted, or you are being harassed by a landlord.
If should be able to help at this stage, if not you have the option of going to a small claim court but this will incur costs.
Charities such as Shelter and Citizens Advice can also offer free advice and support.