Pinched the kitchen sink?
Would you pinch the kitchen sink?

When leaving rental accommodation have you ever had the urge to take things that don’t belong to you? Perhaps the light fittings – or even the kitchen sink?

Research from landlord insurer Direct Line for Business has highlighted that 30% of tenants think it’s acceptable to take items that aren’t theirs when leaving a rented property.

The more popular items taken by tenants include televisions, sinks, fridges and light fittings but there have been some obscure examples including coconuts and a beehive. Landlords carry the burden of replacing these items, with the estimated overall value of stolen items per household standing at £509.

One in five (21%) tenants didn’t complete an inventory before moving into their rental properties, which may explain why they feel they can get away with taking items when moving out.

Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business, believes that the range of items that tenants believe they can take is “quite amazing” and said that it isn’t just small items, but some are as large as cupboards, beds and sofas.

Breton explains: “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!”

However, even where an inventory is in place almost a quarter (23%) admitted that this did not deter them. The most common reason for renters taking items was simply that they ‘wanted to’ and other excuses included believing that the landlord wouldn’t notice, forgetting the item wasn’t theirs and taking things by accident.

Despite being tempted to nick that bed frame or desperate for those doorknobs, tenants should think twice before taking them with you. Items are often costly for landlords to replace and may have an effect on tenants in the future – not to mention the risk of losing a hefty deposit!


By Nina Napier