Tenants left feeling ‘ripped off’

The research also found that 46% deal with their landlord directly, while fewer than a quarter (24%) deal with both a letting agent and a landlord. Less than a third (30%) of these respondents communicate only with a letting agent.

Renting is more prevalent among younger generations, with half (52%) of 18 to 24-year-olds renting their home privately.

A similar number (46%) of 25 to 34-year-olds rent, but this figure drops off at the age of 35 to 44, when 22% of the age group say they rent.

This suggests that people in their mid-30s are taking their first steps on the housing ladder.

When asked why they had felt ‘ripped off’ by their landlord or letting agent, the most popular reason given by disgruntled tenants was a failure to get repairs done, with more than one in two (53%) unhappy renters complaining of this. This gripe was closely followed by delays in getting repairs carried out (47%).

Other complaints voiced by tenants who felt their landlord or letting agent had ‘ripped them off’ included non-refund of the tenancy deposit (37%); unreasonable deductions from the tenancy deposit (25%); unreasonable increases in rent (23%) and being handed unreasonable fees or charges to begin the tenancy agreement (22%).

Ian Williams of Ocean Finance said: “The English Housing Survey recently revealed that private renting has hit a peak of four million and has almost doubled since the 1980s.

“While many more of us are happy to live in rented accommodation, this survey suggests that at certain points in time we can be less than happy with the service provided by landlords and their agents.

“The biggest driver of dissatisfaction is the failure or timeliness of getting repairs done – if you are left without heating or hot water, for example, you have every right to expect the landlord or their agent to get it fixed promptly.”