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New research reveals the most frequently-cited rules broken by tenants. So what are they?

The new research by Direct Line Landlord insurance may not come as a surprise to some landlords. Top of the broken rules was 25% failing to pay rent, followed by 21% smoking when forbidden, and 18% keeping a pet without permission.

The new research by Direct Line Landlord insurance may not come as a surprise to some landlords. Top of the broken rules was 25% failing to pay rent, followed by 21% smoking when forbidden, and 18% keeping a pet without permission.

Other broken rules that tenants admitted to included changing the locks, causing disturbances or a nuisance to neighboring properties, subletting without permission, not cleaning windows, and decorating without permission.

Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business, advised ‘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’. He also advised that it is a good idea to go through all of the clauses and penalties with the tenants before they sign the agreement to ensure that they are clear on the rules of the tenancy and then maintain a dialogue with tenants as well as making scheduled visits to the property to ensure it is being maintained to a level that was agreed in the contract.

The sanctions available for breaking tenancy rules include losing some or all of the deposit which happened to 52%, followed by 22% having to pay for any damages and in some extreme cases some 4% were evicted. Landlords may have grounds to use the deposit for a professional clean at the end of the tenancy to remove any issues caused by smoking or pets. However, in order to enforce this a good inventory would be needed which was drawn up at the beginning of the tenancy. Otherwise it may be difficult to prove that the damage was caused by the tenant.

But landlords take note: 21% of tenants say that the landlord never found out about their misdemeanors! Thankfully, the research also revealed that 65% of tenants do stick to the rules!

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