May Go Against Tenancy Agreements
According to new research conducted by Ocean Finance, the majority of tenants in the private rental sector could be guilty of breaching their tenancy agreement for their rented properties.
The study found that 94% of tenants in private rented sector properties admitted to acting in a manner that could be considered to be in breach of their tenancy agreements, as not all tenancy agreements include restrictive clauses, but many do.
The survey discovered that:
- 58% of tenants admitted to burning candles in rented properties despite clauses in tenancy agreements preventing them from doing so, creating a fire hazard.
- 54% of tenants admitted redecorating rented property without the landlord’s permission, even if the decoration had been done before they moved in.
- 50% of tenants also admitted to having a pet in rented property without the permission of the landlord and against specific clauses in tenancy agreements.
- 36% of the tenants surveyed admitted relatively small breaches of their tenancy agreement over minor things such as damaging wallpaper or plaster by hanging pictures on walls
- 22% of the tenant respondents also admitted to over filling refuse bins which could attract rodents
- One of the most serious breaches of tenancy agreements concerns sub-letting of rooms in rental property, however it was discovered that only 4.9% of tenants who took part in the survey admitted to doing this, equating to 1 in 20 tenant respondents.
It could be that tenants acted out of ignorance, rather than deliberately flouting the terms of their tenancy agreement, as they were unaware of the clauses and details of the tenancy agreement they legally had to sign.
23% of tenants admitted they did not fully read their tenancy agreement when they moved in, with just 57% of respondents stating that they read their agreement thoroughly prior to signing it.
Amazingly 20% of PRS tenants who took part in the survey revealed that they don’t have a tenancy agreement in place with their landlord or letting agent, that is equivalent to 1 in 5 tenants.
Spokesman for Ocean Finance, Ian Williams, said: “Many standard tenancy agreements contain a lot of ‘niggly’ clauses about cutting the grass and emptying the bins. Whilst breaking these conditions might seem trivial, doing so could have serious consequences. Blu-Tack stains on the walls might be just the excuse the landlord needs to withhold some or all of their deposit, while keeping a pet or sub-letting rooms could result in being asked to leave the property. To avoid this, it’s important tenants always read their tenancy agreements and ask their landlord about anything they’re not clear about.”
Ignorance is no defence, landlords need to make sure that tenants are aware of any restrictive covenant or clause that could cause the tenant to breach the terms of the agreement before asking the tenant to sign a legally binding document.
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