One in seven tenants break the rules

Robyn Hall

September 21, 2016

From failure to pay rent on time, smoking and keeping a pet it appears tenants can’t stick to the small print with 15% having broken a rule outlined in their tenancy agreement, research from Direct Line reveals.

While the majority (65%) of tenants have stuck to the rules, one in seven claim to have broken the terms and conditions of their rental agreement, while a further 9% claim that they don’t have a contract at all. More than one in ten renters (11%), meanwhile, claimed that they were unsure as to whether they had actually broken any of the rules in their contract or not.

The rules tenants bend range from failing to pay the rent on time or at all (25%) to failing to regularly check the smoke or carbon monoxide alarm (10%). Other common broken rules include smoking (21%), keeping a pet like the one pictured (18%) and damaging or making alterations to the property (17%).

The most common sanctions for breaking tenancy rules include losing some or all of the deposit (52%), followed by having to pay for any damages (22%) and in some extreme cases tenants were even evicted (4%). However, more than one in five (21%) tenants say that the landlord never found out about their misdemeanours.

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “The relationship a tenant has with their landlord can be crucial in the smooth running of a rented property.

“It is therefore of utmost importance for tenants to keep in touch with their landlords should anything arise that may be in breach of their rental agreement.

“Many landlords may be accommodating of requests to have a pet or to make changes to the property, but it is always safest to ask before doing anything to ensure that you are not breaking your contract in the process.

“Tenants who break the rules of their contract can face anything from the loss of their deposit to eviction, so for peace of mind, landlords should ensure they have a watertight legal contract in place to fall back on should anything happen to their property.”

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