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First time landlords guide: Letting to tenants with pets

Letting to tenants with pets

Preparing and maintaining your rental property needs both time and financial investment and therefore it is essential to weigh up the positive, protective alternatives and items to look for as well as some background work when considering a tenant’s request to have a pet in your property.

Shorthold or leasehold

Check the deeds on your property before you begin. If your ownership of the property is on a leasehold or an older freehold, restrictions may be placed on accepting tenants with animals.

High demands

We know that due to the adverse press they receive, the property where animals are allowed is restricted. But with 44% of UK homes presently owning a pet * and an annual increase in the private rental sector, those landlords who buck the trend in allowing our four-legged friends to immediately boost their likelihood of attracting long-term, reliable tenants.

Rent Negotiations

Tenants may be prepared to pay a greater price to secure a pet-friendly property and cover any future issues.

Careful Clients

In order to protect their future rental opportunities, a tenant who is fortunate enough to discover a pet-friendly property is likely to be the model tenant.

Added security

Security is a lesser concern for the landlord than the tenant, but still a concern. Having a dog in the property can behave as a deterrent to vandals or burglars that might be desired.

What concerns could arise?

Protection

Tenancy agreement updates
If you decide that the pet-owning tenant is worth it for you then include a pet clause in your tenancy agreement along with an extra clause to guarantee that any damage is paid or fixed and the property remains clean. 

Ever Presents Risks

Unfortunately, no matter how much preparation or protection you have, the danger of harm, mess, lingering odors and flea infestations will always be present.

Anti-Social Neighbours

Dogs and cats are not always the neighbours that are most socially acceptable. As a landlord, keeping good terms with neighbouring property owners is important, so consider them in your plans.

Pet Policy

Setting out your expectations for a tenant with pets can help to avoid problems.

Referencing

Consider asking for a reference from a previous landlord about their pet from potential tenants. If this is not feasible, they may be willing to assist their vet. If this is not available, ask the owner to fulfil and/or see the vaccination and flea protection records of the pet. 

Landlord’s Choice

At the end of the day, you need to consider how risk adverse you are. If you’re pleased to take your opportunities and take advantage of a wider market and possibly higher rent, then there are tenants with animals for you.

If the idea of adding maintenance and cleaning increases your stress levels then you likely should prevent it!