Renting To Tenants With Pets

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Renting To Tenants With Pets

Renting To Tenants With Pets

Many Landlords Against Allowing Pets
In Rental Properties

The majority of the public are pet lovers, unfortunately though many landlords are not…
There have been many horror stories in the media about expensive damage caused by pets in rental properties, making many landlords refuse to even consider letting to tenants with pets.

Landlords who don’t allow pets in rented property alienate a high proportion of suitable prospective tenants for their rental properties, and there are alternative methods to covering the cost of property damage caused by tenants with pets, including specialist pet insurance policies or tenant liability insurance, which covers damage claims up to £2,500 (GBP) even if the damage caused was accidental.

The term pet generally refers to cats and dogs, however, smaller pets contained in cages/bowls – fish, hamsters etc, are less likely to cause problems, however, tenants should still get permission from their landlord just to be on the safe side in case future tenants suffer from animal or fur allergies.If you’re a landlord and are considering allowing tenants with pets into rental properties, you may be worried about the amount of extra cleaning that may be required or additional repairs and increased property maintenance issues the animals could cause, and with good reason.

Some damage pets can cause in rental properties can include:

  • Scratch marks in woodwork
  • Scratch damage to interior walls
  • Discolouration to low levels of interior walls
  • Frayed sections of carpet caused by claws
  • Stains and urine patches on carpets
  • Musty or stale odours
  • Flea infestation
  • Bare patches of lawn/grass
  • Damaged fencing

Insurance policies, such as tenant’s contents insurance and landlord’s buildings insurance, are perfect for what they are intended for but these types of insurance policies will not cover any damage caused by pets to property or furnishings. So it’s essential that if you decide to allow pets into the rental property in advance how you want to deal with any damage that may occur.

Tenant liability insurance can provide a great deal of peace of mind for both tenants and landlords, as they know that damage will be covered for just £60 a year.

Alternatively, landlords may request a larger value deposit from tenants with pets, reflecting the increased property maintenance issues and end of tenancy cleaning that may be required. The money should be held in one of the Government approved deposit protection scheme and only deducted from to cover the cost of repairing damage caused to the property/furnishings by the tenants and their pets or to replace damaged items.

Landlords may consider allowing pets into rented properties only if tenants agree to hand over a non-refundable pet payment to cover the cost of the professional cleaning and flea treatment the property at the end of their tenancy, if they’re keeping a cat or dog. It’s good practice to provide the tenant with a written estimate for the cleaning of the property so that they know the pet payment you are asking for is fair. Any pet payment taken by the landlord or letting agent should be taken at the start of the tenancy and would be non-refundable.

Landlords who do allow pets in rental properties will have some advantages in attracting and retaining long term tenants over landlords who don’t, as finding rental properties in the UK that allow tenants to keep pets is still unfortunately in the minority, therefore attracting premium rental prices.

It is essential that a detailed inventory with photographic evidence should be carried out before the start of each tenancy and particularly important when there is a pet included within the applicants family. The inventory will help landlords work out how much the pet has affected the rental property’s condition at the end of the tenancy.

Landlords should also carry out periodic management visits so that can continually assess the pet’s behaviour and make sure they’re not destroying the rental property.

Making small concessions and allowing pets in rented properties can help to reduce the length of time that the property is void, saving landlords a great deal of time, stress and money in the long run. Tenant liability insurance allows landlords not to have to discriminate against tenants with pets and provides access to a wider tenant market.

This was written by Mike Clarke. Posted on at 11:30 am. Filed under Insurance. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.