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Study Reveals 97% of UK Tenants Don’t Know Their Rights as Renters


Oct 20, 2020 #property
  • TotallyMoney study reveals 97% of UK tenants do not know their full rights as renters.
  • 50% of UK tenants don’t know if their landlord could change their rent without notifying them.
  • 38% of tenants don’t know when the landlord is allowed to enter the property.

With 4.7 million households currently renting – double the proportion of the population from what it was in 1997 – trying to get onto the ladder isn’t easy, and, unfortunately, the challenges don’t end once you find the right property. It’s not any easier from the other side, either – landlords can struggle with difficult tenants, tricky laws, and household problems.

You can save yourself from problems with an understanding of your rights as a tenant or landlord – but do the UK public actually know what rights they’re entitled to? TotallyMoney conducted a survey of UK tenants to find out if they really knew their rights, and have created a complete guide to all the most-searched questions tenants and landlords are worried about.

What Does The Public Really Know?

Whether you’re a new tenant or a long-term renter, knowing what you can expect of your landlord, and what is expected of you, can be confusing.

Survey results showed tenants thought:

  • Half of the people surveyed (50%) didn’t know if their landlord could change their rent without notifying them.
  • 97% of respondents didn’t know everything that a landlord legally needs to provide to tenants.
  • More than half (57%) thought that a landlord is required to fix any and all problems with the property. Even though landlords are required (legally) to fix major issues which affect the tenants’ ability to live in the property, they aren’t required to fix small issues – especially if the tenant is at fault.

For the Attention of the Property Owner

With mortgage payments, other bills, and your day-to-day life going on, it can be tempting to fill your property with the first potential tenants who come along. But not all tenants are equal – and some are only going to cause more problems. You should watch out for the warning signs that a tenant is going to be trouble, like:

  • Bad Credit – While not every landlord runs credit checks as a matter of course, as it can slow down the rental process, it can be a valuable way to see if a tenant regularly pays bills or if they’re likely to miss their rent.
  • Employment History – Getting references from employers and finding out if a potential tenant has had a series of short-term jobs can be an indication as to their reliability; if they’re repeatedly jumping from one job to the next, they may be unreliable.
  • Criminal History – It’s worth conducting a check into a potential tenant’s criminal background. A tenant convicted of violent crimes, or sex, theft, or drug offences could be a danger to your property or those in the vicinity.

Landlord 101 – The Questions Everyone’s Asking

There’s a great deal of information on what tenants can do in a property, but it can often be hard to find out more information for landlords. With that in mind, TotallyMoney have examined the most searched terms and the questions landlords are regularly asking, to find out vital information like:

  • How long does a landlord have to return a deposit? You’re legally required to give the deposit back to the tenant at the end of the tenancy. The length of time this can take can be found in the tenancy agreement or the scheme that the deposit is safeguarded with.
  • Who pays council tax, the tenant or the landlord? The tenancy agreement should clearly state if the landlord or tenant is responsible – in most cases, liability for the Council tax falls to the tenant.
  • What does landlord insurance cover? Landlord insurance covers several aspects that aren’t covered by general home or property insurance, including theft or burglary, damage and unpaid rent.

Mark Molony, Head of Brand and Communications at TotallyMoney said, “Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, knowing your rights and keeping an eye out for warning signs means you’re well prepared in the event of an issue or a dispute.

“We created this study in order to make sure readers had access to clear answers – it can often be tricky to find out the exact information on a problem while renting!”

TotallyMoney have covered everything from the rules and rights for tenants and landlords to the red flags and frequently asked questions that will save you from being scammed. Find the rest of the survey and tips on the website here