Pets in Rental Property

With an increasing number of people spending more time at home with flexible working arrangements, along with Christmas time when pets are often given as presents, the focus is once again on pets in rental property. 

The Society for Companion Animal Studies has commissioned a piece of research into whether private rented sector (PRS) landlords rent to tenants with pets and the issues and/or benefits of doing so. The survey being carried out by Northumbria Law School and the Open University is to 

investigate any barriers the PRS has with renting properties to tenants with cats and/or dogs and the findings will contribute to the growing debate over pets in the PRS and what the real reform would look like. 

Tenants often feel that too few properties are advertised as taking pets, in fact the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has previously reported that as little as 7% of rental properties advertise that they will accept pets. 

At Pennington, we take a view that the subject of allowing pets is a decision for the individual landlord, so we rarely advertise a property as accepting pets or not. 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 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 landlords who provide pet-friendly homes. It can maximise rental potential and we find that pet-friendly properties are snapped up quickly and that pet owners often 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. A blanket objection on ownership of appropriate pets in suitable homes would therefore seem unfair for the sensible majority. 

Once you have made the decision to look at accepting pets in your property, there are some steps that we advise to ensure that 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 and Propertymark agents should be carrying these out as part of their terms of business and at least every six months. These inspections show how your property is being looked after and will highlight any work that may need addressing sooner rather than later. In addition, a good agent will send you the inspection report with photos and arrange for any work to be carried out.

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.