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Lousy landlords: Survey shows how many admit to delaying, disregarding issues reported by tenants (interactive map)

Renters and landlords have been at the center of intense debate about housing through the coronavirus pandemic. Rent relief payments are going out to New Yorkers and landlords are concerned about the continuation of an eviction moratorium through January 2022. A new survey though of more than 3,700 respondents across the U.S. shows that a growing number of landlords either put off property work, or ignore it altogether when tenants inquire.

In New York 1 in 10 residential property landlords admit to cutting corners when renting properties. A survey conducted by Belluck & Fox, a leading personal injury and mesothelioma law firm, conducted a survey of 3,000+ landlords during the month of July finding that around 9% admitted to delaying or totally disregarding issues reported by tenants.

According to results from the survey, the average tenant has to wait approximately 18 days for a landlord to fix property issues after being reported. Around 57% of renters say they believe it’s reasonable to withhold rent payments if a landlord does not address their concerns.

“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” Belluck & Fox said of the findings. “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.”

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.

New York ranks among the better states as far as diligence is concerned. While 9% is a significant number of landlords, it’s relatively small compared to the percentage of landlords in other states – like Kansas – who put off work and repairs at a much higher rate. The survey found that 50% of landlords delay or dismiss repairs altogether on rental properties.

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