One in four tenants renting privately in the UK would not notify their landlord about significant damage, new research has revealed.

The survey from YouGov for property marketplace TheHouseShop found that 27% would remain silent if they were responsible for any major damage to their rental home. However, it also found that many would offer to pay for the repairs.

Is the UK’s rental market letting down those most vulnerable?

A total of 15% said they would hire a professional to take care of the damage whilst 11% would attempt to fix it themselves. Only 1% would try to hide the damage. All of them would do so to hope their landlord wouldn’t find out about any damage they had done to the property.

Out of all respondents, 58% said they would report the damage to their landlord, out of which 24% would offer to pay the full bill, 7% would suggest to contribute to the costs and 27% would wait and see whether they had to pay.

Nick Marr, TheHouseShop’s co-founder, said:

“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.”

Almost half of UK tenants unhappy with their landlord

“The best advice I could give to landlords would be to encourage an open and honest relationship with their tenants, so that tenants don’t feel scared or nervous about reporting any damages as soon as they happen. Having a direct relationship with your tenants, as opposed to using a third party agent or management service, can be a great way to build trust and avoid any nasty surprises further down the line.”

Hiding the damage or attempting a DYI fix can, depending on the damage, only make the situation worse.

The best way to get around those is to carefully check tenants before moving in, in the hopes to avoid any rowdy renter as much as possible. And, in addition to this, being an open-minded landlord, where a tenant feel comfortable raise issues, may also help in the long-run.