Renting to tenants with pets

May 6, 2016

When it comes to finding a rental property with a beloved pet in tow, sometimes tenants can find their options are limited, as landlords have refused to consider allowing pets in their properties.

The landlord’s fears are normally related to  damage to the property and possible complaints from neighbours about noise or mess. However, landlords seem to be coming around to the idea that tenants with pets can in fact make for an ideal occupant. With a few adjustments and additions to the tenancy agreement, tenants with pets are no more of a risk than a tenant without a furry friend!

Here’s why landlords should consider letting to tenants with pets

Tenants who rent a property that allows pets tend to stay longer.

46% of UK homes have a pet of some kind, this is a huge market that landlords are restricting themselves from, possibly unnecessarily. 2015’s Pet Population report- 46% of UK households have a pet.  That equates to approximately 58 million pets nationwide including 9 million dogs and 8 million cats.

Most tenants with pets are happy to pay a slightly higher security deposit to cover any damage that may be caused and are usually happy to agree to pay for professional cleaners when they vacate the property.

If someone is willing to put in the time and effort required to look after a pet, it’s likely that they will view the property as their home and look after it as if it were their own. A good tenant in anyone’s books!

Advice for tenants who are seeking a property that allows pets

If you are a tenant looking to rent a property that allows pets, there is a wealth of help available online such as these top tips for finding property to let with a pet from The Dogs Trust. We especially like the advice about writing a CV for your pet and obtaining a reference for your pet. Just like a reference from a job if you have a reference from a previous landlord this will go a long way to allaying any fears a new landlord may have.

Having a pet in a rental property without formal agreement is considered a breach of your tenancy contract and can result in the landlord seeking possession of the property.

Some advice for landlords who allow tenants with pets

Landlords can protect themselves with a comprehensive, watertight inventory which is good practice whether or not you accept tenants with pets. Ideally, this should also include photographic evidence of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy as this will provide indisputable evidence, should it be needed, in the event of damage caused by pets or otherwise.

You will need to accept that there will be a higher level of wear and tear in the property than a standard tenancy. Upfront you should agree with your tenant that when vacating the property, they will have the property professionally cleaned.

Consider meeting with the prospective tenant and pet and see if the animal is well looked after, well behaved and clean.

Make sure regular property inspections are undertaken and to ensure that one cat hasn’t become three!

Northwood M.D. Eric Walker, commented:

“Pets are part of the family in the U.K., so it stands to reason that is a huge demand for pet-friendly rental accommodation.

Provided that you take the correct measures, letting to a tenant with a pet can mean a long-term tenant who puts down roots and also feels like they can call the rental property their “home”.

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