Landlords “ready to help tenants in trouble”

According to a new survey from the AA, seven out of 10 landlords say they’ve drastically changed their plans in the past year to go and help out a tenant with a household repair.

The research from AA Home Membership, conducted amongst 200 landlords, reveals that in the past year one in five have returned from a holiday early and another one in five has had to find a babysitter. 18% have taken time off work and 16% have left a wedding or other special event.

Helen Brooker, head of AA Home Membership, said: “Being a landlord is time-consuming, especially as they’re ‘on-call’ twenty-four hours a day. Landlords often get a bad reputation for not helping out their tenants when they’re needed, but our research shows that’s often not the case.”

Many tenants feel as though they’re on their own when their landlord is away. A separate survey of 2000 tenants showed that just 27% say they know who to contact in their landlord’s absence.

“Only a third of the landlords we polled use a lettings agent. That means that there are a lot of landlords out there who are the first port of call when their tenant has a problem,” said Brooker, “Giving your tenants a list of other contacts – possibly a family member or tradesmen that you have a good relationship with could be handy. It’ll probably help your relationship with your tenants too.

“At a time when thousands of homes have suffered damage thanks to recent bad weather, it could also be worth giving tenants details of your properties’ insurance and home emergency policies to help deal with an unexpected emergency if you’re away.”

On average, landlords have had to visit their property three times in the past year to carry out repairs which cost an average of £296.81.

The research also highlights the trend of ‘accidental landlords’ – such as those who have moved and had difficulty selling their home, so rent it out instead – showing  that just a quarter always intended to ‘buy to let’.