15% of tenants admit to breaking rules
By |Published On: 21st September 2016|

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15% of tenants admit to breaking rules

By |Published On: 21st September 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

Interesting new research has revealed that one in seven tenants have broken one or more rules outlined in their tenancy agreement.

Data from the report conducted by Direct Line Landlord Insurance shows that around 15% of renters admitted to breaking conditions of their contract. Somewhat alarmingly, 9% said they don’t have a contract at all!

11% said that they were unsure if they had broken any rules or not.

Breaking the rules

Of those renters who admitted to breaching terms of their agreement, the most common was failing to pay rent on time. Next came smoking inside a property and having a pet without permission.

The full list of most common rules flaunted by tenants were found to be:

Activity Percentage of tenants
Failing to pay rent on time (or at all) 25%
Smoking in the property 21%
Keeping a pet in the property 18%
Damaging or making alterations to the premises 17%
Changing the locks 16%
Caused disturbances or a nuisance to neighbouring properties 14%
Sublet a room without notifying the landlord 14%
Failed to clean accessible windows 13%
Redecorated without permission 12%
Failed to check smoke or carbon monoxide alarm 10%


15% of tenants admit to breaking rules

15% of tenants admit to breaking rules


The most common sanctions for tenants found to be in breach of their agreement include:

  • losing some or the entirety of their deposit (52%)
  • having to pay for damages (22%)
  • being evicted (4%)

However, 21% of tenants say that their landlord hasn’t found out about their actions…yet!

Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business, noted, ‘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.’[1]

‘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,’ he added.[3]

[1] http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/landlords/1-in-7-bend-tenancy-rules.html

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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