From Robert Ulph on June 30, 2021
The question over pets in rental properties has been raised once again, and this time in the houses of Parliament. Members of the House of Lords quizzed the Government last week on ways to encourage landlords to be more pet friendly.
The discussion looked at a wide range of options from the existing use of specific clauses that can be added to the tenancy for extra cleaning and questions were raised around the use of pet CVs. Charging additional rent for pets was proposed as well as insurance policies to be taken out by tenants and also interviewing tenants with pets to check responsibility.
At Pennington, we take a view that the subject of pets is a decision for the individual landlord. We know that not all properties are suitable for pets, we also know that the reference ‘pets’ covers a much wider range of animals than it used to, so individual requests have to be addressed as they come up.
Allowing appropriate pets in suitable homes can be a positive move. In general, we find there are significant benefits to those landlords who provide pet-friendly homes. It can maximise rental potential and we find that pet-friendly properties are snapped up quickly and are never vacant for long. We also find that pet owners are often more likely to stay longer in a property than tenants without pets.
There can, unfortunately, be issues with irresponsible pet owners, but most people regard their rented property as their home and do not want to live in a home that is being damaged or is unsanitary.
So I can’t stress enough that deciding whether or not to accept pets in your rental property must be an individual choice as it can feel like a big decision, particularly if you have little experience of pets yourself, but it is something that should be carefully considered.
Once you have made the decision to look at accepting pets in your property, there are a few simple steps that we can advise on to ensure that the tenancy runs as smoothly as possible. For example, incorporating clauses on potential damage or extra cleaning are key from the outset and removes any uncertainty or dispute later on.
Regular inspections of the property are also essential as these inspections reveal how your property is being looked after and will highlight anything that may need addressing sooner rather than later. These should be carried out by your managing agent and in addition, a good agent will always send you the inspection report with photos, as well as be able to arrange for any work to be carried out.
If you need any advice on renting out your property or as a tenant with pets 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.