Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Pet-Friendly Properties are a Priority for Many

From Robert Ulph on October 25, 2019

Data on the number of UK households owning a pet reveals an increase over the past three years with an estimated 45% owning one in 2018 and as a nation of animal lovers it will come as no surprise that the demand for pet-friendly rental properties continues to grow. For some looking to rent it is their number one priority in a property search.

Deciding whether or not to accept pets in your rental property can seem like a big decision, particularly if you have little experience of pets yourself, but it is something that should be carefully considered.

At Pennington, we can advise on individual properties but generally we do find there are significant benefits to those landlords who provide pet-friendly homes. It can certainly 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.

Once you have made the decision to look at accepting pets in your property, there are a few simple steps that you should follow to ensure that the tenancy runs as smoothly as possible.
First, if you own a leasehold property check that the head lease accepts animals. A lot of apartment blocks, for example, don’t allow cats or dogs.

Once you have given permission for a tenant to keep a pet make sure you or your agent draws up an appropriate clause in the contract to cover any potential damage or any extra cleaning that may be required. Having something from the outset, removes any uncertainty later on.

Previously it was good practice to increase the deposit held on the property to also cover any potential extra cleaning, however under the Tenant Fees Act, landlords and letting agents are no longer able to take a higher security deposit for tenants with pets. Instead now it may be that the rent of the tenancy is set to cover any wear and tear that the pet may cause.

Regular inspections of the property are also useful. Landlords who manage their property themselves often fail to do this, but with a property being managed by an agent, regular inspections after giving the required notice to tenants, should be part of the service. ARLA Propertymark agents should be carrying these out as part of their terms of business and at least every six months.

These inspections reveal how your property is being looked after and will highlight any jobs that may need addressing sooner rather than later. 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 or would like to discuss any other matters on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me.