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Revealed - most common lies on rental applications

A comparison website has compiled a list of what it claims to be the most common lies on tenancy applications - and a league table of where the lies are most frequently found.

Comparethemarket says some 26 per cent have admitted to lying about something on a home rental application and 39 per cent would consider lying in the future 

Younger applicants have been revealed as the most likely to bend the truth, with 43 per cent of 16-to-34 year olds admitting to lying on a home rental application. Least likely to lie are the over 55s, with just one in 10 having done so. 


The new research shows that the amount of people who have been dishonest on a rental application differs from city to city. 

For example, over a third (37 per cent) of Newcastle’s residents have lied when applying to rent a property, closely followed by 36 per cent of Norwich renters and 35 per cent of renters in Manchester. The most honest renters are found in Plymouth, where only five per cent of residents admit to forgoing to truth in order to secure a property. 

The most common area to be dishonest about when filling in a rental form is smoking status. 

Many landlords are reluctant to rent their property out to smokers, so it’s not surprising that almost one in 12 renters having withheld the truth about being a smoke on their rental application form

The second most common falsehood used on a rental application form is lying about having a pet, with 11 per cent admitting to considering lying about a pet on a future rental application. 

It’s also not uncommon to lie about income when trying to secure a rental property. Six per cent of people have lied about their wages, and 10 per cent admit they would consider doing so in the future. Job status is also commonly lied about, with five per cent of people admitting to stretching the truth when it comes to putting down the nature of their employment on a rental application.

A spokeswoman for Comparethemarket says: “Surprisingly, almost one-third of renters are unaware of the implications that lying on a rental application form could have. While these do differ depending on the situation, the likelihood is that if you’re caught lying, your application will be rejected. If your application is discovered fraudulent after you have moved into the property, there may also be grounds for eviction. 

“For landlords, there are a few ways in which you can try to avoid accepting dishonest tenants. Completing a thorough reference check is really important, especially one that looks at employment history, credit checks, and previous landlords as this helps build a better picture of your potential new tenants. 

“Even the best tenants can be unpredictable at times, so you should also ensure you have insurance should anything go wrong. Landlord insurance can offer landlords more protection than standard home insurance, covering you for things such as accidental damage by tenants, void periods between tenants and rent arrears. There are different types of landlord insurance policies available, so ensure you opt for right level of cover to suit your needs.”

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    My favourite was the one who said she had no CCJs or rent arrears when she applied with a partner. They were both on the tenancy agreement at their current place and wanted a joint tenancy again. He did not know about the arrears, and she got upset when we rejected her application and only returned part of her holding deposit!

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    Surprised you returned any.

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    Tenants get caught out when the previous/current land lord is asked for a reference. Saying that they have done this or that has to be proved and can be difficult. So, the best answer is "No I would not rent to this tenant again" Reason , (official) they never did anything wrong its just because its Tuesday or something equally unoffensive.


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