Tenants' complaints about landlords: Property news roundup

Plus, remortgaging fixing, who to buy a house with, and non-commuter property

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The Independent Online

A new poll has revealed a high level of dissatisfaction among tenants with the service they receive.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults by Ocean Finance has revealed that half of those who rent privately feel they have been ‘ripped off’ by either their landlord or letting agent.

The main reason tenants gave for being unhappy was a failure to get repairs done (53 per cent) followed by delays in getting repairs carried out (47 per cent). Other complaints included non-refund of the tenancy deposit (37 per cent), unreasonable deductions from the tenancy deposit (25 per cent), unreasonable increases in rent (23 per cent) and being handed unreasonable fees or charges to begin the tenancy agreement (22 per cent).

According to Citizens Advice Bureau, growing numbers of private sector tenants are talking to the charity after facing eviction despite being up to date with their rent.

It has seen a 38 per cent increase in issues caused by people without rent arrears being threatened with eviction from a private sector rented home. People came to the CAB for help with more than 5,000 issues caused by the problem in 2013/14, up from 3,750 the year before. 

Teaming up to buy a home

New research from Santander Insurance looks at the trend for shared home purchases between people who are not married, with 22 per cent of those who are planning a joint purchase in the next two years doing so with their unmarried partner.

Thirteen per cent of those hoping to buy will share the purchase with their parents, while four per cent expect their home purchase to be made jointly with someone else such as a friend or other relative.

The main reason for buying jointly, mentioned  by 23 per cent, was that shared ownership is the only way they can get a foot on the ladder. Only a fifth of those planning a joint purchase will do so simply because they want to live with the other person and 16 per cent will buy jointly because it will leave them less financially stretched. Fifteen per cent will do so in order to afford a bigger property.

Where should non-commuters live?

People who don't commute could sell their house and move to an equivalent sized property in a nearby town without a train station and gain up to 40 per cent of the value of their property, according to new research from eMoov.co.uk.

Its research indicates that property prices in adjacent towns without a train station are on average 12 per cent cheaper than the towns with a train station. 

In some cases, like in Shropshire the average difference between the adjacent towns Market Drayton and Whitchurch (which has a train station) reaches more than two fifths of a property’s value.

Russell Quirk, CEO of online estate eMoov.co.uk, said: "Non commuters should think carefully about living in a town that happens to have a nearby rail station, it’s wasted capital.  Our research provides compelling evidence that living somewhere that is not well served by a train station results in significantly lower prices."