Landlords are warned letting repair bills may run out of control because they do not pay close enough attention to the state of their properties.
The claim comes from the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), who explained regular inspections are essential to track repairs and to make sure tenants are treating the home properly.
The AIIC suggests landlords should check their properties at least every three months.
“A recent case shows how important it is for landlords to make regular checks on their property. A check-out was in progress and it was discovered that there had been a water leak from the bathroom above a kitchen which had caused the ceiling to fall down,” said an AIIC spokesman.
“The tenant said that the leak had got worse, but hadn’t bothered to report it and a couple of days ago the ceiling had come down. The tenant thought that as they were moving out, this would just be reported at time of check-out. As a result of the tenant’s negligence, they had to pay for a percentage of the ceiling repair.”
The AIIC says experience suggests tenants are unlikely to report damage or maintenance issues for fear of landlords blaming them for the problem.
Meanwhile, maintenance is listed as the most expensive cost for many London landlords, with 23% spending at least £5,000 a year on fixing repairs in Central London.
According to market research company BDRC Continental, insurance is the next largest expense, with 14% of landlords paying £2,000 a year or more for cover.
Director Mark Long said: “There are a lot of costs associated with being a private landlord, not least maintenance, insurance and professional advice from accountants and solicitors. However our survey tells us that the market for private rental across London is strong and landlords feel positive about their prospects, so despite the costs, the market for letting property in the capital in London remains buoyant and profitable.”