Should I let my tenants keep pets?

Should I let my tenants keep pets?

When letting out your property, there are a lot of considerations which you need to think about in terms of what kind of tenant you want in your property. It is not at all unusual to see ‘no pets’ on a letting listing – so, is it best to restrict pets when letting?

Our advice would be to weigh up the positives against the potential negatives before deciding.

Positives

The demand from tenants is high

We often hear that the UK is a nation of dog lovers, in fact, it seems we love all kinds of pets with 44% of UK households currently owning a pet. The private rental market is also increasing year on year with more families renting now that affordability in the sales market is stretched . Not ruling out pets enables you to open your property to the widest possible market for tenants.

Rent and deposit negotiations

It may be possible to negotiate a slightly higher rent or deposit with the tenants if you are willing to accept their pets. Most pet owners will be happy to offer some additional security to prove their credentials as responsible pet owners and their faith in their pet!

Grateful tenants

If you have a tenant who feels lucky to have been able to secure a property with their pets, they may well be inclined to demonstrate what a model tenant they are by ensuring that the property is well looked after. Especially if they are long term renters who may well require a reference if they decide to move again.

Potential Pitfalls

What will the neighbours say?

Do consider the neighbours when renting a property to tenants with pets. As a landlord, you want to be on good terms with the occupants of neighbouring properties. For instance, are there any communal areas where fouling may cause a issue? Would a dog left at home alone be a potential noise problem? Thinking about these things and how they could be mitigated in advance is recommended.

Increased risk of damage

There is always a slightly greater risk of damage and extra wear and tear on your property if you accept pets. However careful and responsible your tenants, accidents can happen. However, much of the impact of any issues will be minimised with good preparation…

Protection

Tenancy agreement updates

If you decide that you are happy to accept tenants with pets, make sure that your tenancy agreement has a suitable pet clause. This may include a restriction of the number of pets which can be kept in the property as well as a requirement to have carpets professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy. As mentioned above, many landlords may also request a higher security deposit to take account of the increased risk.

Pet policy

Set out your terms for accepting pets clearly at the outset of your relationship with the tenant, including any additional tenancy clauses which you intend to impose. They key to maintaining a good landlord/tenant relationship is always clear communication.

Schedule of condition

We also strongly advise that you have a full inventory and schedule of the condition of the property before a tenancy commences. This document should clearly record the condition of the property at the time the tenants took occupation, using photographs and a detailed written report. Take particular notice of the condition of carpets and flooring so that there is no ambiguity about their condition. This will make things much easier at the end of the tenancy if there is any damage to rectify.

Referencing?

Consider asking potential tenants for a reference from a previous landlord relating specifically to their pet if that is possible. Alternatively, you may want to see them and their pet prior to making a decision.

For more help and advice about letting your property, including an up to date rental assessment, get in touch with our rental department. Our experienced staff are experts at steering landlords through the more complicated aspects of letting their property.