Do you trust your tenants to notify you about significant damage made to your property? If you have a strong, trusting relationship with your tenants, they might be inclined to tell you about any damage they may have caused. But new research has shown that many aren’t so keen on confessing to damage.

A YouGov survey has revealed that 33 per cent of tenants aren’t willing to confess and would not inform the landlord of damage. 15 per cent would aim to repair the damage without making the landlord aware of the problem.

Of the respondents who would confess to damages, 24 per cent would offer to pay the repair bill, 7 per cent would offer to contribute and 27 per cent would wait to hear back before offering to pay.

How to combat the problem

Positive relationships with tenants

While it’s never a tenant’s intention to purposely do damage to a property, accidents can happen. It is vital for a landlord to form an open relationship where the tenant can be honest and feel comfortable in reporting damages to you.

Being made aware of problems straight away prevents nasty surprises further down the line. Damage can be corrected quickly and not worsen over time.

Having a good relationship with tenants also means that they’re more likely to have a longer stay in the property.


By making regular visits, you get an idea of how well a tenant is taking care of the property. This helps to create confidence and uncover issues and damage that may have occurred.

Check-ins could be made bi-monthly, quarterly or yearly. You may want to refrain from doing these too frequently as to impose on tenants’ privacy, which could jeopardise your relationship.


As well as having a good relationship with your tenants and visiting the property, an accurate description of the state of the property before each tenant moves in is necessary to prevent disputes.

A property inventory protects landlords themselves from having to pay repair charges for damage that wasn’t their fault. An inventory is now almost as important as the tenancy agreement.

Skribes are Birmingham’s leading independent inventory and property services specialists, providing landlords with inventory reports, check-in reports, interim reports, check-out reports and legionella reports.

To find out how we can help make it easier to manage your property, call us today on 07891 551 905 or email