Two thirds of UK tenants break landlord rules, study finds

When landlords let their properties to tenants, they have to trust that they will follow the rules set out in the tenancy agreement and take good care of their assets. Landlords can’t just turn up to a property and inspect it without giving appropriate notice, so it’s essential that they have confidence in their occupants. 

However, a recently-published report shedding light on the habits of UK tenants may instil doubt in private sector landlords. It unveiled a worrying statistic: that two thirds of renters engage in actions and behaviours they know their landlord would disapprove of. 

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Flouting rules

The study, carried out by home interior company Hillarys and cited by Property Wire, polled tenants aged 21 and over who had moved into their rented property in the last three years. When asked if they’ve ever done anything their landlord stated wasn’t allowed, or that would be frowned upon, a worrying 67% confessed to breaking the rules.

Of the tenants who owned up, 39% said that they had a pet in the home despite the contract saying that they weren’t allowed one. A further 34% made tweaks to the home’s interior without permission and 28% admitted to causing damage. 

Many landlords ban smoking inside of their properties but still, 26% of tenants continue to light up inside. Another 17% also admitted to renting out a room or having people over to stay in the last three years. 

Suspicious landlords

While many UK landlords remain oblivious to what’s happening inside of their properties, 35% of renters said they had previously been confronted and asked directly if they were flouring their agreement. Of those, 51% said they had lied in their response to their landlord, 28% bent the truth, and the remaining 21% held their hands up. Just 15% said that they had actually been caught doing something that wasn’t allowed.

Hillarys then asked the survey respondents why they felt compelled to lie to their landlords, with a third (33%) saying they did so because they knew they wouldn’t get permission. A further 31% had the mindset of ‘what they don’t know won’t hurt them,’ and 20% felt that they wouldn’t get caught out. 

So, how did landlords react? When tenants confessed to the truth or were caught red-handed, 48% were told to stop straight away. Surprisingly, 23% of tenants were allowed to carry on what they were doing, while 18% received a warning and 11% were told to find somewhere else to live. 

Commenting on the report, Tanya Irons, a spokesperson for Hillarys, said: “When you’re renting a home from someone else, you must abide by the rules that are in place or face eviction. It is still the landlord’s property and they have every right to have it treated with respect.” 

Assurance from Stride

Studies such as these really highlight the need for due diligence when sourcing tenants for rented properties. By conducting in-depth background searches, landlords stand a greater chance of their tenants being respectful. 

As a letting agency, partnering with Stride  will grant you, and therefore your landlords, access to our robust tenant referencing service. Our process includes a number of prompt, yet thorough steps including credit history searches, alias name checks, previous landlord references and income verification. 

Along with this service, we also offer a range of comprehensive insurance policies for letting agents to offer landlords, or for landlords to acquire independently. Our products include everything from landlord property insurance and legal expenses cover, to rent guarantee and tenants contents insurance. 

Ultimately, Stride is here to help ensure stress-free renting, resulting in a happy tenant, landlord and letting agent. So, to speak with one of our experts about cover or partnering with Stride, give us a call today.


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