English | Cymraeg Tel: 029 2076 5760 Connect: Twitter

Get the basics right, tenants tell landlords

Tenants think their landlords should concentrate on getting repairs right and improving existing homes, according to an opinion survey conducted by TPAS Cymru.

The quarterly survey for Tenant Pulse found that many tenants are feeling dissatisfied, disengaged and want the basics done right. Many of those who participated anonymously, both in the private rented sector and in social housing, say they have outstanding maintenance and repair issues, believe their homes are not affordable and do not feel their voices are heard.

Around 800 tenants participated, from a broad range of ages, backgrounds and local authorities. Among those interviewed in social housing, 37 per cent cite Universal Credit as their main income, highlighting the need to maintain the £20 uplift.

While 66 per cent of interviewees said they feel proud to live in social housing, a large concern was anti-social behaviour and a lack of amenities in local communities. One tenant said: ‘In the two years I have been at my property, I have been subject to anti-social behaviour, that has resulted in me wanting to get out. My health has deteriorated because of it.’

Almost half the private and social tenants believe their homes are unaffordable. While 16 per cent of private renting tenants (compared to 2 per cent in social housing) say they plan to rent temporarily before looking to buy, less than half intend to stay in their home for a long time. This was not always by choice, as many cited insecurity of the tenancy, with issues around private landlords selling their properties. Factors like outstanding repair and maintenance issues have caused some tenants to say they feel ‘settled, but not secure’.

Only 7 per cent of respondents believed their home to be energy efficient. Almost half the tenants are struggling with damp and mould, as well as cold homes. This is a particular concern for TPAS Cymru with much of the recent news focusing on rising fuel prices this winter.

There was a noticeably higher level of requests for repairs and maintenance by BAME tenants, but only a quarter reported any communication at all with their landlord. This highlights the challenges facing the sector to improve communication and engagement with ethnically diverse communities.

While information surrounding community affairs was preferred by those in social housing than private renters, both sectors wanted communication surrounding improvements to the property, as well as landlords to prioritise safety, affordability and communication.

TPAS Cymru CEO David Wilton said: ‘There is a desire across the housing sector to put tenant transparency, accountability, empowerment and listening at the top of the agenda, but the sector must act, not just listen.’


Sign up to our email newsletter

Every two months we'll email you a summary of the latest news & articles on the WHQ website. Better still, if you're a fully paid up magazine subscriber, you'll get access to the latest members-only articles as well.

Sign up for the email newsletter »

Looking to advertise in our magazine?

Advertising and sponsored features are a great way to raise your profile with our readership of housing and regeneration decision makers in Wales.

Find out more »