Confusion Rains Over Rising Damp - UK Tenants don't know their responsibilities

Over 40% of private tenants are unsure what they’re responsible for

New research shows that 43% of tenants renting from private landlords are unsure with whom responsibility lies for a number of aspects of their tenancy – either with their landlord or with themselves. The findings, from, also suggest that only 11% of tenants think they know more about division of responsibilities than their landlords, while 48% say landlords know better. This perhaps suggests that a number of the disputes that do arise between private landlords and tenants could be caused by a lack of knowledge on the tenant’s part.

The most common areas in which responsibility has been disputed within the past year were:

  1. Furniture and Appliances = 14%
  2. Fixtures and Fittings = 13%
  3. Mould = 12%
  4. Energy Efficiency = 6%
  5. Utility Bills = 2%

The distinction between ‘damage’ and ‘fair wear & tear’ was voted one of the most ambiguous issues, with 25% of renters saying they would welcome clarification on this topic. However, different age groups are concerned about different aspects of tenancy:

  • 18-24 year olds are most unsure of the rules around internal décor
  • 25-34 year olds are most confused about whether they should pay for insurance or not
  • Over 35s particularly want clarification around rights of access

Those seeking information around division of responsibilities can find it in this ‘Landlord vs Tenant’ tool.

When questioned about the most important qualities for a landlord to have, over 65% say they most value honest landlords who fix the issues they’re responsible for. It would seem that many landlords do in fact display these qualities, as over 85% of tenants rate their landlord’s management of their tenancy as ‘average’ or better – with 60% giving a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ rating.

This – combined with the fact that only 15% of respondents saying they have had an unresolved dispute in the past 12 months – indicates that tenants’ attitudes towards private landlords are largely positive – contrary to popular belief. This is further supported by the fact that less than 1:5 tenants asked admitted that they have been too afraid to bring up issues with their landlord in the past.

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Notes to editor: Research among 788 UK private tenants was conducted by Google Consumer Surveys on behalf of Make It Cheaper on 23 & 24/06/2015.

About Make It Cheaper: Based in Central London with 190 staff and 38,000 customers, Make It Cheaper has been the No.1 destination for businesses to get a better deal on their utilities since it launched in 2007. Following its acquisition of Ofgem Confidence Code-accredited in 2012, Make It Cheaper also provides competitive energy prices and free expert advice for households – online and over the phone. Its supplier panel includes all of the Big 6 and 28 of the UK’s smaller domestic and non-domestic energy companies. For businesses and charities it also offers savings across other overheads including: telecoms, insurance and merchant services. The company has appeared in the Fast Track 100 for three consecutive years and has won the title of ‘Consumer Champion’ at the Energy Live Consultancy Awards for the past two years. Its current ‘Net Promoter Score’, based on 2,718 customer satisfaction questionnaires completed to date in 2015, is +66.

Further information: Nick Heath 020 7654 0730 / 07720 297972 /



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