One in seven renters have broken one or more rules outlined in their tenancy agreement, according to new research from Direct Line Landlord Insurance.
While 65% of tenants have stuck to the rules, 15% claim to have broken the terms and conditions of their rental agreement, with a further 9% claiming that they don’t have a contract at all. 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 (18%) and damaging or making alterations to the property (17%).
The 10 most common rules broken by tenants:
|Activity||Percentage of tenants|
|Failing to pay rent on time (or at all)||25%|
|Smoking in the property||21%|
|Keeping a pet in the property||18%|
|Damaging or making alterations to the premises||17%|
|Changing the locks||16%|
|Caused disturbances or a nuisance to neighbouring properties||14%|
|Sublet a room without notifying the landlord||14%|
|Failed to clean accessible windows||13%|
|Redecorated without permission||12%|
|Failed to check smoke or carbon monoxide alarm||10%|
Source: Direct Line for Business 2016
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.”