According to leading insurer, AXA, property landlords are still leaving themselves exposed to rogue tenants as they are failing to carry out even basic checks before letting a property. Their warning to landlords is: Do more to protect yourselves from these rogue tenants.
AXA’s research showed that nearly 60% of tenants admitted they had broken the terms of their tenancy agreement, and over 30% admitted they had broken the law regarding the same tenancy.
The research highlighted;
• 25% pay their rent late
• 10% disappeared owing the landlord money
• 8% have sublet to someone else
• 15% have received complaints regarding noise levels
• 20% kept pets without permission
On the crime front nearly 10% of tenants admitted to actually committing a crime in the landlord’s property.
The research highlights that landlords do have a legal responsibility to ensure that the premises they own are not used for any criminal purposes.
In addition to which under the Misuse of Drugs Act, then the landlord could face prosecution if one of his tenants was found to be producing banned substances or cannabis in their rented property.
AXA also warns Landlords that while the responsibilities are getting much stricter, unfortunately many landlords are still failing to carry out basic checks on their potential tenants.
The research also highlighted that nearly 40% of landlords do not carry out sufficient checks on their prospective tenants, and neither do they carry out any criminal record checks.
Landlords were also accused of being uninterested when it came to actually visiting the property, either between lettings, or whilst let with over 30% of landlords admitting to never visiting their property during a rental.
Only 35% of landlords carry out a credit check, less than a third ask for employment references, and fewer than 30% bother to ask for references from the tenant’s previous landlord.
Whilst the research highlighted several deteriorating areas, this was not the case when it came to tenancy agreements which the research highlighted as one of the key documents offering landlords a degree of protection.
AXA research highlighted that landlords are grasping the issues here and getting much better, with over 75% of tenancies now based on a formal tenancy agreement, as compared to last year when just over 50% of landlords had a formal tenancy agreement in place.
However the research clearly indicated that as an end of term report then there was still plenty of improvement needed by individual landlords.