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Many renters in the dark about their rights, research suggests

Rights on rent, tenant eviction and deposits are unknown among many renters and landlords, according to a new survey

Emma Featherstone
Saturday 28 October 2017 18:30 BST
It’s worth renters doing their research before signing a new tenancy agreement
It’s worth renters doing their research before signing a new tenancy agreement (iStock)

Many of those who rent a home are in the dark about their rental rights, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by online letting agent LetBritain, suggests that many tenants and landlords across the UK could be unaware of rental laws on tenant eviction, deposits, rent prices, charges made by landlords and notice given before a landlord visits a property.

Half of the respondents to LetBritain’s survey did not know that the rent charged by a landlord should be within the range of similar properties in the area and that, if it is not, can be challenged by the tenant.

Renting rights impact an increasing number of people with research published by estate agent Knight Frank earlier this year suggesting that almost one in four households in the UK will be renting privately by 2021. According to its research, there are around five million households in the private rental sector today.

Of the landlords surveyed for LetBritain, 27 per cent were unaware that a tenant could challenge rent costs if they are not comparable to similar properties in the area.

The independent survey, conducted in October, included both renters and landlords in an 80/20 split in favour of renters. It included all parts of the country and all ages of renter.

Among those surveyed, 37 per cent of tenants and 16 per cent of landlords did not know that tenants must be given at least two months’ notice if a landlord wants to evict them.

Meanwhile, just over a third of the renters surveyed did not realise that they have the right for their deposit to be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme, which applies to all tenancies that began after 6 April, 2007. Of the landlords surveyed, 12 per cent were unaware of the rule.

Among the renters, 43 per cent were unaware that tenants can challenge any excessive charges made by a landlord via an ombudsman. A fact that also eluded 19 per cent of landlords.

Landlords should also provide their tenants with 24 hours’ notice before entering the property, something that 28 per cent of tenants didn’t know. Tenants (34 per cent) also were not aware that their landlord must provide them with an Energy Performance Certificate.

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