Rules are made to be broken, right? That’s certainly implied by 1 in 7 renters, who admit to “bending” the rules of their tenancy agreement.
According to research by Direct Line Landlords, 15% of renters have broken a rule outlined in their contract.
Failing to pay rent on time, smoking inside and keeping a pet came top of the frequently flouted list, with subletting a room and redecorating without permission also featuring.
But while some rules are black and white, a huge 11% of renters asked were unsure as to whether they had broken any terms of their contract – that’s more than one in ten.
What’s more, a worrying 9% of renters asked claimed they didn’t have a contract at all, raising concerns that some landlords are breaking rules themselves – and would have little ground to stand on if they wanted to sanction wayward tenants.
Signing a tenancy agreement legally binds your occupant to paying their rent. A contract can also clearly outline what is and isn’t allowed, and let you set out clauses and penalties for errors – from deposit deductions to damage payments and evictions.
Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business, said: “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.”
What else can I do?
Focus on establishing a positive, trusting relationship between yourself and the tenant. Regular contact, politeness and ensuring maintenance requests are responded to in a timely manner is likely to help.
On that note, consider being flexible – is it worth losing a long-standing tenant because you say no to a pet request?
You are within your rights to make scheduled visits to your property, but sometimes a little trust can go a long way.
Finally, always ensure you have specialist Landlords’ Insurance for your residential properties. Flexible covers can be arranged to protect against various situations, including if tenants damage a property and leave without paying up. Talk to us at Hinks Insurance on 01482 323424; our specialist team would be delighted to discuss your options.