It’s thought that nearly half of all households in the UK are home to some kind of pet, whether that be a cat, dog, fish or micro-pig! Research has shown that keeping a pet in a rented property was the fourth most important issue raised by prospective tenants.
It’s a huge issue, that many landlords are outright prohibiting, but then there are also the added benefits when allowing pets, that you will be able to rent your property a lot quicker. Below, we have put together a list of things to consider when choosing whether or not to allow pets in your property.
Types Of Pet:
First things first, there are so many varieties of pets, it may be worth making exceptions for calmer or smaller animals who will cause less mess on a case by case basis.
Assistance Dogs: If you disallow a tenant to keep an assistance dog in your rental property, you are actually breaking the law. They have a right to an assistance dog to be with them at all times. However, these dogs are normally very well trained and shouldn’t cause any problems.
Dogs: These pets are among the most popular but are also most likely to cause the most problems. They can become very destructive if left alone for too long and can be very noisy which could lead to upset neighbours. However, you may decide to allow some dogs, depending on their behaviour and size. For example, it would be cruel for a larger dog to live in a small flat and could lead to further problems.
Cats: These types of pets are less likely to cause trouble and are also very independent animals, so won’t become destructive if left alone for too long. Some cats do have a tendency to scratch soft furnishings in order to sharpen their claws which could be an issue unless the property was unfurnished. Additionally, a lot of cats need access to outdoor space so may need to have a cat flap installed.
Other Pets: Most other pets are relatively less problematic, such as fish, hamsters and guinea pigs, so if the question arises from a prospective tenant regarding pets, you may choose to be open to smaller, caged animals.
It’s important to make sure that if you do allow larger animals in the house, such as dogs, you know that the animal will not be left alone for too long. You may also choose to ask the tenant if their pet suffers from any illnesses or mental issues that could lead to destruction and loud noises.
Additionally, make sure that any animal you agree to allow in the property is micro-chipped, up-to-date on all injections and is treated for fleas regularly. You may choose to outline this in the tenant’s contract, so as to make sure all of these things are done or ask for a written agreement.
Formalities And Paperwork
With many types of pets, landlords will ask for an additional ‘pet deposit’ to cover any damager undergone. This will give you peace of mind and will allow you to rent the property quickly. You may choose to include this information within the tenant’s contract, or choose to mock up a second ‘pet contract’. Additionally, you could consider adding a section on animal welfare, discussing that any ill-treatment or leaving the animal alone for long periods of time could result in the contacting of local welfare organisations.
A Final Note
Often, occupiers with pets make excellent tenants. They are often extremely grateful to find somewhere that they can live with their pets. We would suggest judging each pet on a case by case basis, and by providing the relevant paperwork, there’s very little risk involved.