A recent study has revealed that not paying rent on time, keeping of pets and smoking are the rules that are the most frequently broken by UK private tenants. The study revealed that 15% of tenants had broken the rules of their tenancy agreement and recommends that tenants read the terms of their contracts so that they are not caught out.
The good news is that 65% of tenants abided by the rules of their tenancy agreement according to research conducted by Direct Line Landlord Insurance, while 15% are claimed to have broken their agreements and another 9% do not have any kind of contract. The remaining 11% of cases it was unsure whether any rules of the tenancy agreement had been broken or not.
Failing to pay their rent on time was the most common rule broken and accounted for 25% of cases, this was followed by 21% who had broken smoking rules, then 18% who were keeping a pet without permission and 17% for making alterations to or damaging the property. Changing the locks without permission was next at 16%, followed by 14% causing a disturbance and the same number subletting a room without permission, not cleaning windows was 13% and finally decorating without permission was 12%.
Tenants that broke the rules faced sanctions ranging from losing their deposits at 52%, having to pay for damages 22% and 4% of tenants were evicted. A further 21% of tenants that broke the rules claimed that the landlord never discovered that they had done so.
Relationships Crucial To Smooth Running
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.” He went on to say “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.”
He then added “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.”
The best way to avoid these situations as a landlord and ensure that tenants do not break the rules of their tenancy agreement is by being clear right from the start what is allowed and what is not. If pets and smoking is not permitted then this should be made loud and clear.
Before signing the agreement you should run through all of the clauses with tenants to make certain that they understand the rules. A dialogue should be maintained with all tenants and scheduled visits carried out to check that everything is fine and that rules are being adhered to.