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One in seven renters breach tenancy rules

One in seven renters have broken one or more rules outlined in their tenancy agreement, while 11% of renters surveyed claimed that they were unsure as to whether they had actually broken any of the rules in their contract or not, new research from Direct Line Landlord Insurance reveals.

Failure to pay rent on time, smoking and keeping a pet are among some of the most frequently-cited rules broken, with some of the most common sanctions for breaking tenancy rules including the loss of some or all of the tenant’s tenancy deposit (52%), followed by having to pay for any damages (22%) and in some extreme cases tenants were even evicted (4%).

More than one in five (21%) tenants said that that their landlord never found out about their misdemeanours.


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. 

“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.”

The 10 most common rules broken by tenants


Percentage of tenants

Failing to pay rent on time (or at all)


Smoking in the property


Keeping a pet in the property


Damaging or making alterations to the premises


Changing the locks


Caused disturbances or a nuisance to neighbouring properties


Sublet a room without notifying the landlord


Failed to clean accessible windows


Redecorated without permission


Failed to check smoke or carbon monoxide alarm


Source: Direct Line for Business 2016

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  • Andrew Hill

    I wonder if tenants installing telecom services without consent, figures highly overall? Although it can be deemed as restrictive, some landlords do like to have a say in whether or how a dish Sky is installed, but do tenants either know or bother to check beforehand?


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