Please Note: This Article is 10 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Landlords, who are facing increasing competition for tenants from a saturated rental market, are being urged to clean up their act as tenants cite mould and unpleasant smells as being their biggest turn-offs when choosing a property to rent.

In a survey of 2014 adults, conducted by ICM on behalf of professional oven valeters, Ovenu, 77% of respondents said they would be put off by mould in a property. Nearly two-thirds named bad smells, such as smoking or pets and one in two said a dirty or old bathroom suite.

When looking to rent a property, mould was highlighted as the one thing most likely to put people off, receiving three times more votes than practical issues such as small rooms.

The number of privately rented properties in the UK increased to three million at the end of 2008, up from 2.7 million in 2007. This increase is thought mainly to be the result of a rise in “reluctant landlords” – those renting their properties because they are unable to sell.

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This oversupply of properties has led to an acceleration in the rate at which rents are now falling, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Other research has also shown that tenants are now increasingly haggling with landlords over rents.

Rik Hellewell, managing director of Ovenu, said: “We work with thousands of landlords and letting agents across the UK and our survey proves what we have known for years – that dirty is a huge turn-off and can prove very costly, being a deal breaker for many tenants.

“What is clear is that tenants are now more demanding than ever before. There is a saturation of rental properties and tenants are becoming more choosey about where they spend their cash. Getting a property quickly back up to top form is a must for any landlord.”

Rik added: “Tenants can also do themselves a favour and avoid having a nasty shock once the deal has been done, by taking a closer look at any prospective rental property. Never take things on face value – open cupboards, look closely and open the oven door, as in my experience you never know what you might find!”

Ovenu provides domestic oven valeting services to householders, landlords and schools via a UK-wide network of technicians. The Ovenu process involves dismantling key components of an oven such as the door, interior panels, fan and shelves and placing them into design-registered equipment, which uses non-caustic products to clean the oven parts.

For more information about Ovenu call 0800 140 9800 or visit www.ovenu.co.uk

Ovenu is the leading UK and international domestic oven cleaning and valeting specialist. Ovenu is accredited by the British Accreditation Bureau to ISO 9001 and all cleaning chemicals used by Ovenu are environmentally friendly, bio-degradable and conform to the latest government REACH regulations. Ovenu’s Carbon Remover is also approved by the Vitreous Enamel Association.

Please Note: This Article is 10 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

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