Confessions of a Tenant

A very new report from online letting agents PropertLetByUs has highlighted some of the secrets that tenants are keeping from their landlords.

As you would expect, the number one tenant confession revealed in the study was the one and only making excuses for paying rent or avoiding paying rent that is what this study has shown. 63% of the tenants admitted to trying to dodge paying rent followed by 59% of tenants keeping pets with any authorisation. Tenants redecorating without permission (45%) and a third of tenants admitted to damaging walls by knocking nails.

This study also reveals that nearly a forth of tenants’ confessed that they have rarely or never cleaned their ovens, 18% haven’t mowed the lawn regularly, 11% have dumped rubbish at the front 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 a considerable amount of tenants have made excuses to avoid paying rent, which is worrying. The latest industry figures show that tenants 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.

One key way that landlords can ensure they protect themselves from arrears and potentially bad tenants, is by conducting very thorough tenants reference checks. Background checks on tenants are so important and in doing so, you end up picking the right tenant and it can save a long and costly process further down the line.

Landlords need to be thorough in conducting background checks and above all reference gathering, including bank statements for the past 3 months; previous landlord references to check the tenant paid rent on time; credit checks, incorporating fraud indicators; and employer’s reference. It’s highly important for to also check identity and proof of current address- ideally tax and insurance documents and talk to at length to a prospective tenant.

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

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