When letting out a property it falls on the Landlord to decide if they’re are happy with allowing pets or not. This comes with both positives and negatives; sometimes it can be hard to judge what is the best option.
The aim of this blog is to make you able to make a more informed decision about whats right for you.
Positives of a Pet-Friendly Property
Larger Prospective Tenant Pool
Your property will appeal to more tenants. Its unlikely potential tenants who don’t have pets will be put off by a pre-friendly property. You will also be in a minority as the majority of rental properties do not accept pet owning tenants. Not all pets are the same, a goldfish is likely to be less destructive than a big dog or cat with sharp claws. By being too restrictive on pets, you could miss out on better tenants than someone without a pet.
Pet owners typically stay in a rental longer because it can be harder for them to find other pet-friendly options. Therefore decreasing the likelihood of void periods and potentially longer term tenants will treat the property better than shorter term tenants.
Charge Higher Rent
Look around the property’s area… if there are few pet-friendly properties potential tenants have fewer options, therefore you may be able to charge higher rents if you allow pets due to the increased demand.
Negatives of a Pet-Friendly Property
Damage to the Property
From a Landlords perspective this is the key concern. Animals can scratch floors / skirting boards, damage carpets and have accidents. This is however fully dependent on the type of pet you allow, for example there will be no damage from a hamster that spends most time in a cage.
The last thing any landlord wants is to be dealing with complaints from neighbours. Dogs barking, chickens squawking or birds singing can disturb the neighbourhood. Although not usually a huge problem it could be a persistent problem that can make the landlord-ing experience
Dogs, cats, hamsters and rabbits all have a smell. This is an important factor to consider as regular cleaning and possibly fumigation is necessary to remove smell that may become part of the fabric of the building. This problem is entirely avoidable and emphasises the importance of regular property inspections.
Recommendations For Landlords Considering Pets
Before making any decisions the landlord should check their insurance coverage for animals. They should be aware of the liability coverage their insurance includes.
If you wish to allow pets in a rental property we recommend implementing the following;
- When marketing the property ensure its stated that ‘pets are considered’ in the property description. On some websites property listings can be filtered according to whether rentals are pet-friendly.
- You may want to specify which types of pets are permitted in the property. A large dog may not be deemed suitable for a small terrace house, while a cat is fine.
- Adding a ‘pet clause’ to the tenancy agreement gives the landlord a chance to set out the rules regarding pets.
- Some landlords charge extra on the rent to cover the costs of maintaining the property with a animal. For example adding a extra £25 onto the rent payable each month.
- Apply a higher deposit for tenants with pets. Remember that, as with all deposits, it will need to be protected under the deposit protection scheme. We recommend at least £100 addition to the standard deposit amount.
- Consider charging a tenant a non-refundable ‘pet payment’ to cover the cost of professionally cleaning the property at the end of a tenancy.
- If there are pets living in the property, regular inspections may be even more important to do, but always ensure tenants are given at least 24 hours’ notice before entering.
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