By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Four-fifths of tenants break landlord rules, study finds

The vast majority of renters engage in actions and behaviours that landlords would disapprove of, partly because they are not familiar with the different rules in their tenancy agreement. 

A new study has revealed that 84% of renters believe that they are currently breaking at least one or more of the rules set by their landlord-imposed regulations. 

Almost three in four - 73% - of the 2,100 tenants surveyed by Hillarys, the interior specialists, admitted that they were not aware of what the exact rules laid out within their tenancy agreement were, with 36% stating that they have no idea how to find a copy. 


The most broken rules were revealed as follows:

 1/ Hanging pictures/photos/art on the walls – (38%)

2/ Damaging or making alterations to the interior of the property without permission - (34%)

3/ Smoking inside of the property – (23%)

4/ Causing noise disruption to neighbours - (19%)

5/ Owning a pet – (14%)


When asked if they were aware of the current notice period stated within their tenancy agreement, less than a quarter of respondents - 23% - confessed that they would be unsure of how much time they would have to move out if their landlord requested it or how much notice they would have to give. 

Lucy Askew, interiors specialist at Hillarys, said: “Thanks to rising house prices and the subsequent need for significantly large deposits, the reality of homeownership has become unachievable for a number of Britons, resulting in the need for rented accommodation. 

“Whilst it can be all too tempting to ignore the agreements made with a landlord in order to create a cosy atmosphere, rules are put in place for a reason, and failure to comply can put a tenancy at risk and could leave the tenant in question without a home.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • jeremy clarke

    And yet, government, shelter and the tree huggers keep telling everyone that landlords need more policing and control!

  • icon

    There is no doubt some Tenants break the rules whether Sub-letting, Arrears, Airbnb, Damage, Overcrowding, Dogs, Dumping rubbish etc, because their rules are not like LL's rules, no £5'000. fine first offence civil penalty or up to £30'000. second offence + Criminal Record, so no consequences for them no worries, what ever happened to the Scales of Justice.
    Regarding the 80'000 rooms listed on the Short Term platform obviously caused by over Regulation of LL's, forcing them to switch from regular letting or get out of Business little choice, so Government wants stable long Term Tenancies, you can't square this one just imagine that they are deliberately forcing LL's by Law & Regulation out of long term Tenancies, so no option but to switch to Short Term Airbnb style, of course one of the main drivers of this is the Removal of Section 21. Congratulations.

  • Mark Wilson

    Of course tenants break the rules! It redresses the balance as Landlords also want to get away with as much as they can.

     G romit

    ...but is the Landlords property after all.
    You rent it on the Landlords terms (which you sign up to at the outset of the Tenancy), if you don't like the terms don't sign and find somewhere else to live that has better terms. Simples!


    The rules should not be broken by either party - but sanctions don't seem to ever be applied against rogue tenants - only against hapless landlords.

  • icon

    Sorry don't want to get away with anything and never did different culture, this seems to be the mind set of Regulators.

  • Andrew McCausland

    Only 80% say they break the rules? That figure seems low from my experience. Most tenants seem to believe that once they get the keys and pay rent they can do what they like. The piece says that many tenants are not being able to find their tenancy agreements with the rules laid out pretty clearly in there, so no surprise there really.

    The lack of support to landlords trying to enforce this legal agreement is in sharp contract to the Court's view that tenants must be allowed to remain in a property as long as possible despite causing damage, anti-social behaviour or failing to pay rent.

    The various rule changes and legislation were brought in by the government to balance the power structures between LL and tenants. This balance of power has now swung much too far towards tenants and their rights at the expense of their obligations. It is this imbalance that is deterring further investment in the PRS, forcing smaller LL out of the business due to compliance costs and fear of falling foul of the ever increasing legislation.

    The lack of a dedicated housing court is making things worse as the current County Court system is bucking under the pressure of vastly increased case loads. This is only as predicted and an inevitable result of the multiple legislative changes brought in at pace, without due consideration of the impact and without any support to the system meant to enforce the rules.

  • icon

    Good post Andrew, but the dedicated housing tribunals now in Scotland are every bit as ineffective as everything else that the SNP gets involved with.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up