The biggest bugbears for UK renters

Gemma Francis discusses the things which downright ‘bug’ UK tenants

‘Out of the blue’ rent rises and landlords who are slow to repair properties and appliances have emerged as the most common bugbears for the nation’s renters.

Researchers, who carried out a detailed study of 1,000 British renters, also found that not being able to decorate, to make a place your own, and having a small garden are other common gripes.

Outdated interior design, damage caused by previous tenants and an all-out ban on pets are also considered downsides of not owning your own place.

The research also found 44 per cent of renters think redecorating their rented accommodation to their own taste would mean they would take extra care of the property – and three in 10 would happily invest more money into the home to make sure it looked its best.

Alan Kemp, Head of Brand Marketing at Graham & Brown, which commissioned the report ahead of International Wallpaper Week (1st – 7th October), said:

“For many people now, especially the younger generation, the idea of owning your own home can feel like a bit of a pipe dream.

“Landlords these days usually don’t let tenants decorate, which is just one thing in a long list of bugbears, and these strict rules leave Generation Rent lagging behind in the home style stakes.”

Other irritations to make the list include being forced to pay big security deposits upfront, not having a parking space and struggling to get hold of a letting agent or landlord in an emergency.

The study also found that many renters don’t enjoy having to share bills with housemates, and chasing those they live with for money owed.

Being charged extra to use the washing machine or tumble dryer and never agreeing on what temperature to have the heating also ruin the rental experience.

The study, commissioned via OnePoll.com, also found more than a quarter (27 per cent) of those polled have avoided moving to a new home because of the state of the décor.

Coloured bathroom suites put off almost a third (32 per cent) while more than one in four didn’t like the choice of artexed or textured ceilings.

Others turned down a property because of bare or plain walls, too much magnolia and coloured kitchen units.

It also emerged that almost one in five renters (19 per cent) aren’t allowed to decorate their home, with 62 per cent saying they would like to redecorate if their landlord gave them permission.

And more than four in 10 (43 per cent) would stay in a house for longer if they could make their own mark on it.

One in five even said they would happily pay more rent – an extra of more than £70 a month – if they were able to decorate a home how they wanted.

Alan Kemp at Graham & Brown added:

“It shouldn’t just be homeowners who are able to put their own stamp on their home – especially as there are so many easy ways to do this which aren’t permanent, such as strippable wallpaper, rugs and statement artwork.

“This research just shows the value of a well-decorated property to landlords as well, as renters are willing to pay over the odds to banish bare walls!”

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