Thousands of tenants are suffering at the hands of landlords who delay making repairs, or fail altogether, according to research carried out by the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
The AIIC discovered that around 250,000 private tenants every year are withholding rent from their landlords because of delays resolving emergency repairs to heating systems, electrical faults and water leakage.
34% of private tenants have faced a home emergency in the past 12 months, mainly due to boiler and central heating faults
Despite the urgency of these problems, only one in three were dealt with the same day (31%), while one in four (23%) took more than a week, according to Homeserve, November 2013
Duty of care to tenants
The AIIC is urging landlords to listen to tenants and deal with repairs quickly. They stress that landlords have a duty of care with their tenants and should be responding to emergencies in hours, not days.
To help landlords provide this duty of care, the AIIC has put together some guidelines on response times:
Landlords need to tell tenants what to do while contractors are being organised, such as turning off gas taps, water stop cocks or main electricity supplies, to ensure that these is no threat to life and property
Any gas or major electrical fault is urgent and should be attended to within 24 hours or less. This also applies when heating or hot water is affected, especially during cold weather
Water leaks should be put right within 24 hours
Cookers should be fixed within 48 hours
Other broken appliances including washing machines, dishwashers and so on should be attended to within 72 hours
Above all, communication is vital and the landlord or agent should keep the tenant fully informed of the steps they’re taking to resolve any problems. For more information on the AIIC, go to www.theaiic.co.uk
Maintenance and repairs
It’s for these reasons that Walton & Allen comply with the guidelines set out by the AIIC and work hard to resolve any problems that tenants have raised as quickly as possible.
To make sure that maintenance and repairs are carried out quickly and efficiently, Walton & Allen don’t contract this out to anyone else. Because it’s so important to our landlords and their tenants, we have our own in-house maintenance people available any time of day or night.
This enables us to give landlords and tenants a fast, reliable and expert maintenance service with no call-out fees. We also provide an out-of-hours service for late night emergencies.