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Would you know if you breached your tenancy agreement?
If you rent your home, it’s likely that you signed a tenancy agreement that details, among other things, all the rules of living in that property. However, when there are a lot of points listed it can be hard to remember what you’re not supposed to do.
Perhaps that explains why 94% of respondents to a recent survey who rent their homes admitted to committing acts that could well breach their tenancy agreements.
Rules and regulations
There are some rules that appear in almost all tenancy agreements, with ‘no sub-letting’ being a particularly popular one. Other rules that might appear on these contracts include everything from not using Blue-tack or pouring cooking fat down the sink to not keeping a pet or altering the property by redecorating.
And yet stipulations like these have been ignored by the majority of tenants. A third admitted to using Blue-tack on the walls, while nearly a quarter had poured cooking fat down the sink. An even greater number of tenants had broken the seemingly more serious rules; half of respondents who rent said they had kept a pet and a similar number had redecorated. One in 20 went so far as to reveal they had sub-let the property at some point.
Attention to detail
It might be that not all of these respondents were breaking the rules when they committed these apparent breaches. The acts in question may not have been listed in their tenancy agreement.
However, another reason so many people appear to have flouted their tenancy agreement could be that they simply did not read it when they moved in. Just over half of tenants questioned said they had fully read their tenancy agreement when they got it.
Staying out of trouble
Not reading your tenancy agreement could put you at risk if you then mistakenly break the rules. Using Blue-Tack might not seem like a big deal, but it can damage wallpaper and plaster or may leave behind a stain. If your landlord specifically vetoed you using it in the tenancy agreement, they could have the right to dock money from your deposit.
If you break a more serious rule, like keeping a pet or sub-letting your home, you could find the consequences are even more severe. There’s a chance your landlord might ask you to vacate the property because they find the breach so serious.
To be on the safe side, it’s important to thoroughly read your tenancy agreement as soon as you get it. Should it contain any clauses or information that confuse you, simply ask your landlord to explain it further. It could mean the difference between you enjoying your rented home and finding yourself out on the street.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 12th August and 23rd August 2014, of whom 630 were Scottish. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.