A concerning new investigation conducted by Direct Line for Business has revealed that almost one in three renters have taken items that do not belong to them at the conclusion of their tenancy agreement.
Items that tenants have removed from their rental property include fridges, freezers, light fittings, televisions and sinks!
Taking items illegally
Some of the most common reasons for tenants taking items for properties include:
- believing the landlord wouldn’t notice
- taking items by accident
- forgetting the item(s) was not theirs
However, more than one fifth of respondents to the survey who owned up to stealing valuables said that they simply wanted to take them!
The overall cost to landlords of replacing these items is not cheap, with the report indicating that tenants believe the overall value of items they have stolen amounts to more than £500. This underlines the need for a good landlord insurance policy!
Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business, stated: ‘The range of items that tenants feel that they can take with them when vacating a property is quite amazing. It isn’t even just small items that go missing; our research found that renters are helping themselves to beds, sofas and cupboards once their tenancy agreement comes to an end. These are expensive to replace and could have a knock-on effect for future tenants of that property. Plus a tenant could find that they lose their deposit.’
What are the strangest items tenants have stolen following tenancies?
Importance of inventories
Additionally, the research shows that 21% of respondents to the survey who had pinched items said they did not complete an inventory when moving into a property.
Nearly one quarter of tenants who had signed an inventory said the items they had stolen were on this list, but they were undeterred!
Some more unusual items taken were coconuts and a bee hive!
Concluding, Mr Breton said: ‘The research highlights the importance of having a thorough inventory before your property is vacated. Building a relationship with your tenants is a bonus and can open up communication which could minimise issues further down the line. If the property is furnished then make sure you have the right insurance in place so you’re covered should things go missing – like the kitchen sink!’