Renters Admit Lying to Landlords

April 25, 2019

Renters aren’t always honest with landlords. For example, nearly a quarter of renters recently surveyed admitted to not disclosing a pet to their landlord—their top lie. They also were prone to not telling their landlord that they broke household items when moving out or that someone else was living in the home who wasn’t on their lease, according to a new survey from, a home remodeling website. surveyed 563 renters and 532 landlords nationwide to learn more about the renter-landlord relationship, from repairs and responsibilities to working with tenants.

More than half of landlords surveyed said they trusted their tenants to keep their property in good condition. But nearly 38 percent of renters admit that if they owned their homes, they would treat it better, the survey showed.

Thirty-six percent of landlords say they’ve had to hold back some of the security deposit from renters. A quarter of renters said they believe a landlord unfairly held back part of the security deposit that they deserved to receive.

“While taking a security deposit is not required by law in the United States, it is a very effective way for landlords to protect themselves if the terms of the lease are violated in any way—for example, if the unit incurs damage that needs to be paid by the tenants,” researchers note in the study. “Of course, landlords can’t just pocket a security deposit because they feel like it: There has to be a legitimate reason like utilities or rent left unpaid.”

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