The results of a survey conducted by Citizens Advice show that just over half (51%) of renters had not been shown their tenancy agreements until they’d put money down on their accommodation. This research has also highlighted that many renters struggle understanding and negotiating the terms and conditions of their tenancies.

Conducted last month, the information acquired from the survey shows that a significant portion of renters are left in the dark regarding their tenancy agreements, potentially leaving them open to exploitation by rogue landlords.

Some of the troubling statistics unveiled by the survey include that 29% of renters would not feel comfortable negotiating the terms and conditions of their tenancy with their landlord and that a third of renters signed a tenancy agreement without fully understanding what it means.

Tenants with mental health issues were more likely to sign a tenancy agreement without fully understanding it, with 44% doing so. This leaves this already vulnerable group of people further open to exploitation at the hands of corrupt landlords.

Whilst the number of private renters is slightly lower than the national average, a 2016 report conducted by the Community Foundation states that only 12.48% of Gateshead’s population rent privately compared to a national average of 16.69%, they still make up a significant proportion of the borough’s population.

Citizens Advice is urging the government to protect tenants and tighten the regulations which allow landlords to take advantage of unsuspecting tenants.