The majority (65%) of tenants have stuck to the rules, but 15% claim to have broken the terms and conditions of their rental agreement, plus a further 9% claim that they don’t have a contract at all.
The rules tenants frequently bend range from failing to pay the rent on time at 25% to subletting a room without telling the landlord, with 14% doing that.
Other common broken rules include a fifth of tenants smoking, with 18% admitting to keeping a pet and damaging or making alterations to the property (17%).
Pay the price
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: “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.”