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Are you accidentally in breach of your tenancy agreement?

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17/09/2014
From burning candles to over-filling the bins, the majority of renters may be in breach of their tenancy agreement without even realising it.

According to Ocean Finance just 57 per cent of renters read their tenancy agreement thoroughly when moving into a property, with a further 23 per cent simply skimming the document. Some 20 per cent of tenants have no contract with their landlord at all.

According to Ian Williams of Ocean Finance, signing an agreement without reading it carefully first could leave renters unaware that some common activities put them in breach of their contract.

He said: “Many standard tenancy agreements contain a lot of ‘niggly’ clauses about cutting the grass and emptying the bins. Breaking these conditions may seem trivial, but doing so could have serious consequences.”

More than half of tenants reported burning a candle, keeping a pet or redecorating a rented property, all of which are commonly banned by a standard tenancy agreement. Other banned activities included playing music after 8pm, using Blu-Tack on the walls and pouring cooking fat down the sink.

Less common undertakings included leaving the property vacant for more than 14 days, allowing the garden to become overgrown and sub-letting one or more rooms.

Williams warned: “Blu-Tack stains on the walls might be just the excuse the landlord needs to withhold some or all of your deposit, while keeping a pet or sub-letting rooms could result in being asked to leave the property. To avoid this, it’s important tenants always read their tenancy agreements and ask their landlord about anything they’re not clear about.”

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