Revealed: the biggest secrets tenants keep from buy-to-let landlords

What are your tenants hiding from you? New research commissioned by Lloyds Bank shows that at least a quarter of all tenants could be keeping expensive secrets from their landlords.

25% of tenants have caused property damage

According to the research, 25% have accidentally damaged their landlord’s property - and kept it from them. This is on par with the number who had hidden plumbing damage from their landlords, with 25% saying they had caused blockages to sinks and toilets.

Though many tenancy agreements state that tenants aren’t permitted to smoke in the property, more than one in ten admitted to having done so, while a further one in ten confessed to having caused a noise disturbance.

Pets are often another no-no for landlords, but nine per cent of those polls had hidden damage caused by pets from their landlords.

Tenants leave properties at risk of burglary

One of the more concerning statistics to come out of the study was how many tenants are leaving their landlord’s property at risk of burglary.

Six per cent of those surveyed said that they had, at times, left their property unsecured and therefore at risk of burglary. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, five per cent said they’d actually been burgled and hadn’t told their landlord.

Tenants hide damage and disrepair from landlords

With deposit money at stake, the research also highlights the lengths tenants go to in trying to hide their domestic mishaps from their landlords.

Almost a third have cleaned carpets themselves, while one in twenty called in a professional cleaner to give the property a thorough once-over before they returned their keys. 29 per cent have even repainted the walls themselves - though the research makes no mention of whether any of these attempts were successful.

Insurance is vital for landlords, says Damien McGarrigle

Damien McGarrigle, Head of Business Insurance for Lloyds Banking Group, says: “The results highlight just how important it is for private landlords to have adequate landlord insurance which will protect them from a range of common problems, from break-ins and accidental damage to loss of rental income and plumbing issues.

“We know many small scale private landlords with just one or two properties rely on regular home insurance to protect them, but this often falls short of covering the specific problems they could face.”

What’s the worst thing a tenant has hidden from you? Let us know in the comments.

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