Please Note: This Article is 7 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

The top secrets that tenants keep from their landlords and letting agents is revealed in a new report from PropertyLetByUs, leading online letting agents.

The study* shows that the most common tenant confession is making excuses to try and avoid paying the rent (63%), followed by keeping pets without authorisation (59%), redecorating, again without permission (45%) and a third of tenants admitted to damaging walls by knocking in nails. (*Source: PropertyLetByUs research amongst 500 tenants, January 2015).

The research also reveals that nearly a quarter of tenants confessed that they have rarely, or never cleaned their oven, 18% haven’t mowed the lawn regularly, 11% have dumped rubbish at the front and in the garden and 6% have sublet a room. When it comes to expensive damage to property, 4% admit to burning holes in floor coverings and concealing them with mats.

Jane Morris, Managing Director of PropertyLetByUs comments: “Our research shows that large numbers of tenants have made excuses to avoid paying the rent, which is worrying. The latest industry figures show that tent arrears are on the rise again, up by 7.2% in 2014.* This represents an increase of 4,600 tenancies compared to the same quarter in 2013. (*Source: Your Move and Reeds Rains in January 2015).

“One key way that landlords can ensure they protect themselves from arrears and potentially bad tenants, is by conducting thorough tenant reference checks. These background checks on tenants are so important. Picking the right tenant can save a long, costly eviction process further down the line.

“Landlords need to be thorough in conducting background checks and reference-gathering, including bank statements for the past three months; previous landlord references to check the tenant paid rent on time; credit checks, incorporating fraud indicators; and employer references.

It’s important to also check identity and proof of current address – ideally tax or insurance documents – and talk at length to a prospective tenant.

“Landlords should also make regular checks on their property during the tenancy, so they can spot any breaches. In addition, landlords should also check each rental property thoroughly for signs of common damage, which can often be missed at the end of the tenancy, potentially costing landlords hundreds of pounds.”

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Please Note: This Article is 7 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


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