Landlords beware, a third of tenants have stolen items from a rented property in the past five years.
A poll of 2,000 adults by landlord insurer Direct Line for Business found tenants have removed items such as fridges, freezers, light fittings, televisions and even sinks.
Tenants estimate that the overall value of items they had taken from a property stands at more than £500.
Some of the reasons for taking items from rented properties included believing that the landlord wouldn’t notice that the item was missing, and taking items by accident and forgetting that the item was not theirs. However, the most common excuse – given by more than a fifth of respondents who admitted that they had stolen items – was simply that they wanted to take the items.
The research underscores the importance of making an inventory as a fifth of respondents who have stolen goods said they did not complete one when they moved in.
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.
Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “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.
“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.”