More landlord support needed with pets in rental property

As a nation of animal lovers, the subject of pets in rental properties is always one that gets attention but results from a recent survey have meant calls are being made on the government to give landlords greater protection when it comes to any damage that may be caused.

The survey was carried out jointly by Propertymark, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) along with landlord website, LandlordZone and East Midlands-based pet charity AdvoCATS. Findings reveal that not only is pet damage unfortunately extremely common where landlords rent to tenants with pets, but also that coats are difficult to recoup. The summary is that Government must understand the costs for landlords and implement rules that support the sector, not penalise it further.

The organisations say that the information presented clearly shows that the Government has limited the protection of landlords and therefore access to housing for those with pets. They are calling on the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) to prioritise amendments to the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to make renting with pets easier for landlords, tenants and letting agents.

“With the demand for pet friendly homes continuing to increase,” commented Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Propertymark, “the UK Government must now understand the costs involved for landlords and implement rules that support the sector to take on greater risk in order to support more people to rent with pets.”

The Heads for Tails! report and campaign of the same name is seeking an addition to the List of Permitted Payments within the Tenant Fees Act, to give a landlord the option to either request a financially capped pet deposit or stipulate that pet damage insurance must be held by any tenant wanting to keep a pet and is currently backed by over 40 organisations and more than 40 MPs and Peers.

The recent Government white paper has committed to giving tenants ‘the right to request a pet in their property, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse’. The Government has confirmed it will amend the Tenant Fees Act so landlords can request that their tenants buy pet insurance. The campaign continues to ensure these commitments are met in the resulting legislation and that pet insurance is designed to meet the needs of landlords, agents, tenants, and pets.

At Pennington we always advise landlords looking to rent to tenants with pets on the steps they can take to ensure the tenancy runs smoothly, such as additional clauses on damage or extra cleaning which removes any uncertainty or dispute later. Regular inspections are also essential as this shows how your property is being looked after and will highlight any work that may need addressing sooner rather than later.

If you need any advice on renting out your property let me know, or if you would like to discuss any other matters on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me.