Revealed: The biggest lies told by renters to their landlords

Renters are bending the truth or keeping secrets about their rental homes in order to keep their landlords and property managers happy, a new study showed.

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New research from Australian comparison site Finder revealed that more than one in four renters or 26 per cent have kept secrets from or told a fib to their property owner and property managers equivalent to 754,000 people.

The most common lie, making up 10 per cent of renters surveyed, was keeping a pet at the home without permission.

Smoking or vaping came second, with 7 per cent of renters admitting they do it indoors despite a “no smoking” policy.

Hiding property damage such as a hole in the wall or making improvements to the rental without asking permission both made up 6 per cent of renters’ lies.


Meanwhile, 5 per cent of surveyed tenants professed to subletting to an extra person without proper approval to make a bit of extra cash on the side.

Shockingly, a further 3 per cent rented the space out on platforms like Stayz or Airbnb without permission.

Sarah Megginson, money expert at Finder, said lying to your landlord is “a recipe for disaster.”

Hiding things from your landlord or real estate agent could be considered a breach of your tenancy agreement,” she stated.

She further cautioned that a simple cover-up can quickly snowball into significant repercussions.

Depending on the nature of the lie, breaching your contract could result in the loss of your bond, termination of your rental agreement, or your landlord taking legal action against you,” she warned.

The expert said that while renters consider concealing such things to be a white lie, she said tenants run the risk of throwing themselves “back into a highly competitive rental market with a black mark against your name.

A separate Finder research shows that in the last five years, more than one in three or 36 per cent of 510 surveyed renters have lost some or all of their rental bonds.

Loss of bonds were mainly due to carpet and floorboard damage or pet-related damage, accounting for 42 per cent.

An unclean kitchen or oven (16 per cent ) and unpaid rent (11 per cent ) made up the other reasons bonds weren’t returned.

Ms Megginson said “honesty is the best policy for renters,” adding being dishonest can have “tremendous negative consequences which could persist in the future.”

For instance, in Queensland, if a tenant makes a change to the property without the landlords consent, they can be required to reinstate the property to its original condition – even if the changes you made add value or amenity,” she explained.

Disclosing issues upfront can help you tackle the problem and save you money and heartache down the track, Ms Megginson concluded.

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