Why are tenants afraid to ask landlords for repairs?

Often when an agent goes to a property to conduct a periodic inspection, they notice repairs that the tenant had not informed them about. We then ask the question “Why are tenants so afraid to ask for repairs?”

Research suggests that it is for fear of rent increases or being labelled a problem tenant. This is not a good thing for either the tenant or the landlord. If the tenant attempts to fix the problem themselves without notifying the landlord, there is a good chance that the landlord will end up with a dodgy repair. This is your investment and their home and you need to guarantee that good-quality workmanship is being carried out on repairs. In some cases, you may not even be aware of any issues until they move out and you are left with a property that has had botched-up repairs or in a state of disrepair. It is much easier to keep on top of repairs and fix them as soon as you can, and remember – repairs (as opposed to improvements) are tax deductible.

Obviously, emergency repairs such as a burst water service, failure or breakdown of a cooking appliance, gas leak or broken toilet service must be attended to immediately, but non urgent repairs also deserve your attention. It works out much cheaper in the long term to stay on top of repairs than to let them escalate and possibly cause more damage resulting in a big cost outlay when the property is vacant again. A constantly leaking roof can cause internal damage to carpets, floor boards, architraves, ceilings and plasterwork and is also dangerous in terms of electrical issues.

Having a good relationship with your tenant will help with opening the channels of communication, resulting in your tenant reporting repairs when necessary rather than waiting for months. If repairs are done on time and there is mutual trust and respect, your property is likely to be treated with respect as well.