What renters are most dishonest about on application forms
By |Published On: 8th August 2022|

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What renters are most dishonest about on application forms

By |Published On: 8th August 2022|

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

New research by the home insurance experts at Compare the Market has revealed that over a quarter of renters (26%) are resorting to lying on their rental applications in hope to secure a property.

Alongside this, the study also reveals the most common things people are willing to lie about on a rental application form. 

Over a quarter of renters (26%) have admitted to lying about something on a home rental application and 39% would consider lying in the future.

While the research has revealed that over a quarter of renters (26%) have admitted to lying about something on a home rental application, it has also shown that as many as 39% would consider forgoing the truth to secure their future home. 

The younger generations have been revealed as the most likely to bend the truth, with 43% of 16-to-34-year-olds admitting to lying on a home rental application. Least likely to lie are the over 55s, with just one in 10 having done so. 

Newcastle residents are the most likely to be dishonest on a rental form, with 37% admitting to having lied previously

The new research shows that the amount of people who have been dishonest on a rental application differs from city to city. For example, over a third (37%) of Newcastle’s residents have lied when applying to rent a property, closely followed by 36% of Norwich renters and 35% of renters in Manchester. The most honest renters are found in Plymouth, where only 5% of residents admit to forgoing to truth in order to secure a property.

RankCity% that have purposefully been dishonest on their home rental application 

The most common area to be dishonest about when filling in a rental form is smoking status 

Many landlords are reluctant to rent their property out to smokers, so it’s not surprising that almost one in 12 renters having withheld the truth about being a smoke on their rental application form

The second most common falsehood used on a rental application form is lying about having a pet, with more than one in 10 renters (11%) admitting to considering lying about a pet on a future rental application. 

It’s also not uncommon to lie about income when trying to secure a rental property. 6% of people have lied about their wages, and 10% admit they would consider doing so in the future. Job status is also commonly lied about, with 5% of people admitting to stretching the truth when it comes to putting down the nature of their employment on a rental application.

Topic or subject on application form% that admit to being dishonest  % who would consider being dishonest
Smoking status7.63%9.93%
Whether I would be moving in with pets6.42%10.98%
Job status5.49%7.24%
Health issues4.37%7.71%

Anna McEntee at Compare the Market comments: “Surprisingly, almost one-third of renters (31%) are unaware of the implications that lying on a rental application form could have. While these do differ depending on the situation, the likelihood is that if you’re caught lying, your application will be rejected. If your application is discovered fraudulent after you have moved into the property, there may also be grounds for eviction. 

“For landlords, there are a few ways in which you can try to avoid accepting dishonest tenants. Completing a thorough reference check is really important, especially one that looks at employment history, credit checks, and previous landlords as this helps build a better picture of your potential new tenants. 

“Even the best tenants can be unpredictable at times, so you should also ensure you have insurance should anything go wrong. Landlord insurance can offer landlords more protection than standard home insurance, covering you for things such as accidental damage by tenants, void periods between tenants and rent arrears. There are different types of landlord insurance policies available, so ensure you opt for right level of cover to suit your needs.”

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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