Quarter of tenants would not tell their landlord about property damage

Quarter of tenants would not tell their landlord about property damage [Photo: sturti via iStock]

Damage can happen in any rental property. Over the course of a tenancy, people living in a property will bump into things, knock something over or have other minor mishaps that cause some sort of damage; it's only natural. 

However, a new study has shown that while many people admit they have caused damage to a property, more than a quarter would not tell their landlord, even if they were responsible for things being broken. 

According to TheHouseShop, as many as 27 per cent of tenants in the private rented sector said they would keep quiet if they felt they were at fault for something going majorly wrong in their home. And while many would opt to have it fixed at their own expense, they would not tell the landlord or letting agent what had happened. 

Of those who wouldn't tell the landlord about problems they had caused, 15 per cent said they would simply hire a professional to put things right. However, more worryingly, some 11 per cent sad they would attempt to do the repairs themselves, and one per cent instead said they would try to hide any damage from the landlord, without fixing it. 

"While the vast majority of tenants will not actively try to do damage to a property, accidents do happen, and even well-meaning and reliable tenants can end up inflicting significant damage during their tenancy," said Nick Marr, TheHouseShop's co-founder.

He said that landlords should make sure they foster a relationship with their tenants where the tenant feels like they can be open and honest with the owner. Most often, people won't come forward to admit to damage because they feel like they might incur a cost or be blamed for something going wrong. 

The good news is that the majority still feel like they can go to their landlord. Of the respondents, 58 per cent said they would own up to having caused any damage to the property during their tenancy, with 24 per cent even offering to pay the entirety of the repair bill up front.