With an increasing number of tenants having 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. Under the Renters Reform Bill landlords will not be able to unreasonably withhold permission for a pet so the law will change at some point. Pros: Being a nation of animal lovers, it’s estimated that over 40% of households have pets. So, allowing a pet opens up a much larger pool of possible tenants. Currently, tenants with pets know that it’s difficult to find somewhere to rent with their pet so you as 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 they consider to be their home is worth so much more than having a succession of tenants who readily move around. The other advantage of long-term tenants is fewer void periods resulting in a more stable income for you as landlord. Tenants with pets are happy to pay the full asking price for the property as they understand that you are taking a risk with extra wear and tear and possible pet damage. The most common reason for landlords to reject pets is because of damage but under the upcoming Renter Reform Bill, the tenant should be paying for pet insurance. If anything does get damaged during the tenancy you have the right to make the relevant deductions for repairs/replacements from the security deposit or to claim on the pet insurance policy. The full details of how this will work with the Tenant Fee Ban Act are yet to be disclosed. 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 is important for tenant to understand that they are liable for pet damage repair costs. It is also a good idea to meet with the tenant’s pets and ask questions to the pet’s owner to allow you to make an assessment on their behaviour. Extra cleaning to reduce bad odours caused by litter boxes etc. and the increase in hair and general dirt caused by pets. It may be possible to visit the tenants current home or to 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. Future tenant’s allergies need to be taken into consideration so at the end of the tenancy the soft furnishings and carpets will need proper cleaning and sanitising. It is even more important if you have an HMO or rent out a room to check that none of the other tenants have any issues with pets as you want the relationship between everyone to remain safe and harmonious. Fleas. Tenants pets can pick up fleas and ticks and other forms of mites etc. so tenants commit to keeping their pets treatments are kept up to date. If the 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:
Ask to meet the pet and don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding behaviour.
Do your research on the proposed pet to assess its suitability for your property.
Make sure your tenancy agreement has the relevant clauses in for pets and that tenants know they will be charged for cleaning and damage.
Get a professional property inventory which will avoid disputes when your tenant leaves as you can evidence 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.