Renting with Pets - a Guide for Landlords
Updated: Jun 9, 2021
Rentals that accept pets are a really important part of the rental sector and by saying no to pets you may be shutting out some really good tenants - 44% of UK households now own a pet and only 7% of private landlords advertising their properties as pet friendly.
If you allow pets you may also keep your tenants for longer. As tenants with pets find it particularly difficult to find Landlords that allow them to keep their furry friend they may well be less inclined to move. They may also keep your home immaculate, the last thing many tenants with pets want is a bad reference if they do decide to move.
You may also be better to accept a tenant that openly says they have a pet and is willing to pay more rent, compared to a tenant who gets a new pet during the tenancy or doesn't even tell you they have one! If a tenant requests to have a pet during the tenancy you are not able to deny permission without a good reason.
If you are concerned here are some things we can do to help:-
Increased rent - previously, Landlords could request a higher level of deposit to cover themselves if a pet damaged anything within the house. Due to the changes to tenant charges this is no longer possible and has resulted in fewer and fewer Landlords accepting pets. One way round this is to ask for slightly more rent per calendar month and use this money if you need to repair or replace anything when your tenant vacates. Some of our tenants with pets pay an additional £25 per month.
Ask questions - we will always ask plenty of questions about any pets and pass this information back to you. This includes how old they are, whether they are regularly treated for fleas and worms, details of their vets and how long they are left at home on their own.
Meet the pet - Another way to mitigate the risk is to ask the tenant if they would mind you meeting the pet, or ask to visit them a their current home and see if there's evidence of any damage left by the pet. We are also happy to meet the pet when the tenant views the property.
Cleaning - It is standard practise to include in the tenancy agreement that carpets must be cleaned professionally and receipts provided on check out.
References - we always reference potential tenants but will go one step further if a pet is moving into your house. We will always ask for a reference from the tenant's current landlord.
The majority of our tenancies with pets are without incident but it is of course your choice (for now! There may be changes coming and we are monitoring this closely)