Britain is a nation of pet lovers. According to latest statistics by National Pet Month, a massive 48% of UK households have at least one pet – that’s 13 million homes across the UK! Taking these statistics to be true, that means the majority of homes (52%) are occupied by people without pets, and with around 3.84 million homes in the UK being rented properties, we can easily assume that a large proportion living as tenants are without furry, feathered or scaly companions.
In the aftermath of the recession, demand for rental properties increased dramatically; however, the number of pet victims increased in kind. Most landlords refuse to allow pets in their properties, resulting in many people having to give up their dogs, cats, birds, and other forbidden pets.
Most landlords see pets as a hassle. They often fear that properties vacated by pet owners will result in significant damage that will not only cost money to repair, but be off-putting to prospective new tenants. However, with the number of loving pet-owners desperately looking for rental property, is it time for landlords to rethink their stance?
No pets allowed
Looking at things from a landlords point of view, there are legitimate reasons for not wanting to allow pets into a home:
- Damage – animals can scratch and chew walls and floors and cause damage to furniture.
- Disgruntled neighbours – barking dogs and squawking birds can be annoying for close neighbours.
- Odours – animals that are not properly groomed or have accidents inside or outside properties can lead to long-lasting odours.
- Liability – pets may pose the risk of biting or attacking other tenants or neighbours.
As a landlord hiring a UK wide inventory company to check over a rental property, any of the above showing in a report will be far from ideal. However, there are a number of positives to allowing pets that make the proposition a lot more appealing.
There is a genuine gap in the market for rental properties that allow pets and making a house or flat pet-friendly can really expand the prospective tenant pool. Given the fact that pet-loving landlords are hard to find, there is also the opportunity of increasing rent amounts. People would much rather pay more to rent a home than face the alternative of getting rid of a pet.
Another plus side of the general lack of available properties allowing pets is the fact that tenants will be more likely to stay in a home for longer.
Home inventories coming back with reports of damage and odours is the main reason for the refusal of pets, but there are ways to counter this: firstly, you can pet-proof your property with pet-friendly carpets, cork-based Vi-Plank flooring and carpet tiles. Secondly, you can add additional clauses to rental agreements that cover the returning of a property to its original pet-free state, and finally, ask for a larger deposit.
Rather than worrying about what home and flat inventories are going to say, think about the extra money and monthly income that could be earned as a landlord that allows pets, and how happy you could make pet-loving families in the process!
Photo sources: blog.sfgate.com – dog-milk.com