Pros and Cons of Pets in Rental Properties
Updated: Feb 26, 2020
With an increasing number of tenants struggling to rent with pets and rehoming shelters being filled to breaking point with unwanted pets, it leaves landlords questioning whether they should or shouldn’t allow pets in their rental property. Below we will discuss the pros and cons of allowing tenants with pets into your property. Pros: Being a nation of animal lovers and with the annual Pet Population report it’s estimated that 44% of households have pets. So, this opens you up to a much larger choice of tenants and as those tenants know that it’s difficult to find somewhere to rent with their pet, you as a landlord, are more likely to have a tenant who stays long-term. Having the right tenant who stays in the property and takes good care of the property as they consider it their home is worth so much more than having a succession of tenants who already know that they are going to move on who are less likely to go to the lengths of making it their home and treating it as such. The other advantage of long-term tenants is fewer void periods meaning a more stable income for you as a landlord. Tenants with pets are generally happy to pay a little extra for the property as they understand that there is a shortage of pet-friendly properties and they also understand that you are taking a risk. This isn't much different to renting a holiday lodge or cottage with your pet, for example, and the owner charging a bit extra to have your pet staying there as well. The most common reason for landlords to reject pets is because of damage they could cause to the property so if your current landlord is able to provide a reference for your pet to say that there has been no damage caused to your current property then that will help to bag you a pet-friendly property. Cons and how to reduce them: Some landlords may fear that the tenant will get more pets than agreed. Therefore, it’s important to inspect the property on a regular basis to ensure that only the pet(s) that you have agreed to are living there. Fears over damage caused by pets. It's a good idea to meet with the tenant’s pet(s) and ask questions to the pet’s owner to allow you to make an assessment on their behaviour. Most owners love to talk about their pet so will happily tell you about their behaviour and whether they shed a lot of hair and dander or not. Extra cleaning to reduce bad odours caused by litter boxes etc. and the increase in hair and general dirt caused by pets. It’s advisable to visit the tenants current home or get a reference from a previous landlord or agent so you can get an idea of how well the tenant can keep on top of this. Allergies are something to take into consideration especially if you have an HMO or rent out a room as it’s important to check that none of the other tenants have any issues with pets as you want the relationship between everyone to remain harmonious. You also need to consider the next people moving into the property as they may have an allergy to pet hair/dander etc so it will need to be sanitised. Fleas! As everybody knows pets can pick up fleas and ticks and other forms of mites etc. so it is important to ensure that your pets treatments are kept up to date. If your pet has picked up fleas due to the treatments becoming less effective or for any other reason then it's important to have everything cleaned and treated thoroughly to ensure that any dropped flea eggs or escapees cannot breed or hatch. Quick Tips:
Meet the pet and don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding behaviour.
Do your research.
Make sure your tenancy agreement has the relevant clauses in for pets.
Get a professional property inventory which will avoid disputes when your tenant leaves as you can immediately see the condition of the property before and after.
Know your obligations as landlord and make sure you adhere to all rules and regulations surrounding property letting. Make sure you search hard for those not so well advertised regulations.
Check your insurance.
Consider getting help from a highly rated letting agent to ensure your let is as stress-free as possible. At Orchard K Lettings we always like to meet the pet and get references from previous landlords or agents to reduce the risk of future problems.