1 In 10 Landlords In New Jersey Neglect Their Property

1 In 10 Landlords In New Jersey Neglect Their Property
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Lousy Landlords: 1 in 10 residential property landlords in New Jersey admit they cut corners when renting their properties, reveals survey.

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It seems as if the chips have always been stacked in landlords’ favor, no matter how bad they are. Tenants often have to endure weeks without water or a functioning washing machine, or are forced to sleep on soggy mattresses as landlords drag their heels in sorting out a leaking roof issue. Indeed, while tenants have to pass numerous tests to assess whether they should have their rental application accepted, landlords are subject to far fewer checks. Moreover, renters are frequently worried that a landlord will give them a bad reference for complaining, which could devastate their future housing prospects.

Landlords Purposely Disregarding Issues Reported By Tenants

Belluck & Fox, a leading personal injury and mesothelioma law firm, conducted an anonymous survey of 3,000 landlords. The survey revealed that over 1 in 10 (14%) landlords in New Jersey admit to purposely delaying or totally disregarding issues reported by their tenants. This means that thousands admit to cutting corners in making their homes habitable. Despite this, federal law requires landlords to disclose hazards such as asbestos, lead paint and mold due to the severity of health concerns brought on by exposure.

Landlords in Kansas appear to be most negligent of their properties, with half admitting to disregarding their tenants’ rental repair concerns. Comparatively, these figures were lowest in Indiana and Pennsylvania, with just 4% of landlords admitting to this.

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As the pandemic has entered its second year, many tenants are struggling with loss of income. However, a Harvard study on America’s Rental Housing showed that even before 2020, 1 in 4 tenants were spending more than half of their pre-tax income on housing costs. In fact, more than 1 in 10 tenants surveyed by Belluck & Fox say they would consider moving into a property discounted on price because it has issues, purely to save on rental cost. This highlights the pressure many Americans are under, simply to try to make ends meet.

Fixing Issues With The Property

It appears many people also struggle with their landlords to conduct repairs of their rental, as the average tenant says they wait around 18 days for their landlord to fix any property issues reported. Typically, critical issues (things that render the home uninhabitable until repairs) should be resolved within a week of reporting them. These could include lack of hot water, no heat during winter months, no electricity or a pest infestation.

It was also found that the main issues tenants seem to complain about in their rentals are maintenance issues, with a majority (63%) saying this was the case. This was followed by noisy neighbor complaints (20%); lack of communication with the landlord (9%) and pest problems (9%).

Interestingly, more than half (57%) of renters also say they believe it’s reasonable to withhold rent payment if their landlord isn’t addressing their concerns.

‘Many people are already experiencing financial concerns as a result of the pandemic, therefore, additional stresses such as rental property issues can seriously exacerbate stress levels,’ says a spokesperson for Belluck & Fox. ‘If you notice an issue which needs to be addressed timeously, make sure you submit it to your landlord in writing. It’s also important to be informed of your rights as a tenant …’

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