Over Half of Tenants Would Inform Landlord of Property Damage

A recent survey shows the percentage of tenants who would inform their landlord if they had significantly damaged their property in some way, plus those who wouldn’t.

A rent bond is typically equivalent to at least one month’s rent, so it’s understandable that tenants may do anything to keep a hold of it, including not telling their landlord about something they’ve broken.

However, a survey commissioned by TheHouseShop.com shows that 58% of respondents said they would tell their landlord of any serious damage they caused, that is breaking a window, bathroom fixture etc. On the flip side, 27% said they would keep quiet.

The question:
Please imagine you live in a privately rented property… Which ONE, if any, of the following best describes what you would do if you caused significant damage to a fixture within the property?

The answers:

  • Not tell the landlord and attempt to repair the damage myself – 11%
  • Not tell the landlord and hire a professional to repair the damage – 15%
  • Not tell the landlord and attempt to hide the damage – 1%
  • Tell the landlord and offer to pay the full repair bill – 7%
  • Tell the landlord and offer a contribution to the repair bill – 7%
  • Tell the landlord and wait to see if I need to pay anything – 27%
  • None of these – 4%
  • Don’t know – 11%

The gender discrepancy
Women were 6% more likely to report the damage and offer to pay the full repair bill than men, while men were more likely to have a go repairing the damage themselves (13%) when compared with female respondents (9%).

Private vs. Housing Association
Those in private rentals were less likely to own up to damage than those renting from the Local Authority. One quarter of LA tenants questioned would try and avoid telling their landlord, as oppose to 33% of private renters and 36% of Housing Association tenants.

“While the vast majority of tenants will not actively try to do damage to a property, accidents do happen, and even well-meaning and reliable tenants can end up inflicting significant damage during their tenancy,” said Nick Marr, co-founder of online property marketplace TheHouseShop.com. He acknowledged that sidestepping a tricky conversation with the landlord was understandable from a tenant’s point of view:

“The best advice I could give to landlords would be to encourage an open and honest relationship with their tenants, so that tenants don’t feel scared or nervous about reporting any damages as soon as they happen. Having a direct relationship with your tenants, as opposed to using a third party agent or management service, can be a great way to build trust and avoid any nasty surprises further down the line.”

However he did also warn landlords of difficult and destructive tenants.

“It is important to remember that landlords should always conduct thorough checks and references on any potential tenants before they move into the property. That way you can hopefully avoid the nightmare tenant horror stories that so many landlords can recall in an instant.”

Sound familiar? Landlords can protect property including buildings, fixtures and fittings, with relevant Property Owners Insurance from Shene Insurance.