If you have clients who rent out property, you might want to encourage them to take a thorough inventory before their tenants vacate their homes – because it seems many are quite happy to take things that don’t belong with them, with them.
Research from Direct Line shows that 30% of people who have rented a property in the last five years believe it is acceptable to take items that don’t belong to them when they move out – and presumably, they are just the ones that are willing to admit it. They’re not always subtle about what they take either – this isn’t just about tenants taking some cutlery or crockery with them, many admitted taking fridges, freezers, TVs, sinks and more.
When surveyed, some of the reasons for taking items included believing that the landlord wouldn’t notice the item was missing, taking items by “accident” and also forgetting the item was not theirs. Amazingly however, more than a fifth of respondents simply stated that “they wanted to take the items”.
For landlords, however, the need for insurance is paramount – because the overall value of items taken from a property typically stands at more than £500
“The range of items that tenants feel that they can take with them when vacating a property is quite amazing,” said Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for business. “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.”
The research also revealed that one in five (21%) respondents who have stolen goods said they did not complete an inventory when they moved into the property. However, almost a quarter (23%) admitted that all of the items they removed were listed on the inventory but this did not deter them from taking the items.
“The research highlights the importance of having a thorough inventory before your property is vacated,” continued Breton.
“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!”
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