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For many years it has been notoriously difficult to find a landlord that’ll happily let to pet owners. Opening the door to pet owners offers many potential benefits but can be a serious gamble. There are many genuine considerations that need to be made before landlords allow pets to live in their properties. If you’re a landlord considering this decision, here are a few pros and cons that’s help make up your mind. We’ve also included a few vital tips at the end in case you decide to go through with this.
Last year’s Pet Population report noted that 46% of UK households had an animal of some kind living within. Having said that, only about 3% of London landlords openly accepts pets in their property. So what does this mean to you? What is the up-side of allowing pet owners to rent from you?
Expands your options: By allowing pets in your property, you open the door to a far greater number of potential tenants.
Longevity: Tenants with pets know it’s not easy to find a landlord accommodating to their situation. This means your tenants are likely to stick around and settle in your house.
Higher Rent: It’s fair to up the rent of any property that accommodates pets. We recommend adding a small amount that will help to account for wear and tear later on. Don’t forget, you can’t claim back any money from the security deposit for fair wear and tear. Increasing the rent on a property from £600 to £650 per month, for example, is a reasonable decision. It’s not a drastic inflation though this can help to cover any additional work needed when the property is vacated.
Higher Deposit: A pet brings a greater risk of damage to your property. This is especially prevalent if your let is furnished. We recommend adding a fair amount onto the deposit to cover any additional costs that could be attributed to the animal’s presence. This may not be seen as a benefit as such though peace of mind should never be underrated.
A Positive Start: As renting a pet friendly house is so rare, you seem like a reasonable and positive person for allowing it. This may (though not always) give your tenant more respect for you.
More Settled Tenants: Tenants with pets are generally more settled in their lives. This is due to the responsibility that comes with owning an animal. The more stable and responsible the tenant is, the more likely they are to respect your property.
Reduced Void Periods: A pet friendly property is likely to let out quicker than one which isn’t. This means facing the prospect of a void period is far less stressful for landlords.
So with all these positive points, why are landlords so reluctant to let pets into their property? Here are a few common reasons.
Damage: Pets are renowned for causing damage to properties. Of course it’s possible to claim this back on the deposit though it’s still frustrating for landlords.
Smells: Pets are notoriously smelly – even when they’re cared for properly. These smells can be seriously difficult to shift. They can also give the property a dirty feel which can lead to difficulty bringing in new tenants.
Animal Hair: Animal hair is difficult to remove from upholstery and carpets.
Extra Cleaning: A property which houses a pet requires a more thorough clean once it’s been vacated. This isn’t only costly but time consuming too.
Allergies: There’s the potential that future tenants have a pet allergy which can lead to a particularly troublesome situation.
Aggressive Behaviour: If you let to an unsavoury tenant with an aggressive pet, you’re likely to face some serious difficulties. This could be the welfare of your neighbours, the difficulty of communicating with your tenant, threatening behaviour or even being unable to inspect the property.
There’s a New Zoo in Town: We frequently hear the same horror story told by landlords. They allow a tenant to move in with one pet. This then leads to an entire zoo worth of animals taking residence in their property. This can cause permanent damage, disruption and economic burden.
So you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of letting pet owners rent from you and you’re still here interested. If you’re seriously considering the possibility of letting pets into your let, there are a few things you can do to make the situation as stress free and pleasant as possible.
Don’t Just Say Yes: We don’t recommend just making the decision to accept any tenant with pets that applies. Simply acknowledge that you’ll consider pets. This offers no obligation and means you can make a consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Meet the Pet: This is a seriously good way of gauging whether you’d like a pet in your property. Ask to visit your prospective tenants at their current home to meet the animal. This way you can judge its behaviour, cleanliness and the effect it has on the surroundings.
Edit Your Tenancy Agreement: It’s not recommended to add a simple umbrella clause in your tenancy agreement which says that pets are accepted in your property. Make your tenancy agreement specific and relating to the individual pet you’ve agreed. Also it’s worth noting in this clause that the tenant accepts responsibility for the control, care and cleaning of the animal.
Take Additional Deposit: We spoke about this earlier but be sure to take a higher deposit to cover any potential pet related damage. Don’t forget to place this in an approved deposit protection scheme.
Inventory Services: With pets in your property it’s even more important to ensure your inventory is watertight. Remove the stress of this with a professional inventory service like No Letting Go. We’ll run a thorough, impartial check before the tenant moves in and after they leave. Find out more about our services for landlords here.
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