Landlords urged to carry out checks to avoid bad tenants

The failure by landlords across the UK to carry out basic pre-tenancy checks is leaving them exposed to having some of the country’s worst tenants occupying their property, according to one firm.
In research conducted by insurance firm AXA, they found that nearly two-thirds of tenants admitted to breaking their rental agreement terms.
More worryingly, around a third of tenants said they had broken the law during their tenancy.
A spokesman for AXA said more needed to be done to inform landlords of their legal obligations and to educate them about the need to carry out thorough pre-tenancy checks.

Pre-tenancy checks are vital for landlords

He added: “Landlords are coming under increasing scrutiny and are subject to heavier legal penalties than they have been before. For instance, the new Immigration Bill has brought in fines for those landlords who don’t check a tenant’s right to be in the UK and HMRC has also announced a crackdown on landlords and their tax affairs.”
The region with the highest number of tenants who admitted to breaking the law over their tenancy is the West Midlands with 16% of tenants saying they had committed a crime on the landlord’s property.
That compares to 8% nationally and just 3% of respondents in East Anglia.

Tenants admit to breaking law on landlord’s property

Tenants in the West Midlands also came top for sub-letting, noise complaints and smoking.
When the survey figures are broken down, the riskiest tenant for a landlord in the UK to take on is a man with 18% saying they had broken the law while renting.
Also, tenants aged between 18 and 24 saw 64% of them admitting to breaking the terms of their rental agreement.
However, tenants do improve with age since those aged over 55, only a third admitted to breaking their rental agreement.
Landlords should avoid making a small claim on insurance

Meanwhile, landlords are being warned to avoid making claims for a small amount on their property insurance because this could affect their discount.

The result could see future premiums being hiked as a result.

The warning comes from Cover4LetProperty whose director Richard Burgess said that a small claim could see a premium rocketing by up to 20%.
He said: “Most policies see a 20% no claims discount being deducted from the annual premium which sees landlords getting affordable, cost-effective cover.
“Should a successful claim be made by the landlord on a policy then the renewal will not include that discount which means that the premium will appear to have increased dramatically.”
Mr Burgess said that landlords should contact their insurance broker when they need to make a small claim and ask for advice to avoid a hefty increase in their premium as a result.


About S Thompson

Simon Thompson is Editor of Landlord News and CEO of

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