Traditionally landlords have been wary of renting properties to pet owners, fearing extra mess, damage and the unwanted animal odours that can linger long after the pet and its owner have gone.
But as the letting market turns longer-term, more and more tenants are looking to turn temporary rentals into actual homes, with pets in tow. There are some definite advantages to renting a property to a pet owner so now could be the time to suggest that landlords to revisit the subject.
Here’s what they might want to consider:
Pet-friendly properties are in demand
51 million people in the UK are estimated to have a pet, with 26% of the total population owning a dog. By listing their property as pet-friendly, landlords are massively increasing their market. Moreover, given that a recent survey by the Dogs Trust found that 78% of pet owners had struggled to find a landlord that accepts pets, by agreeing to let a tenant house a pet, they’re also accessing a tenant pool in which demand massively outstrips supply. This can only be a good thing when it comes to negotiating rental prices for a property.
Responsible pet owners make responsible tenants
People with pets have to take them into account when it comes to lifestyle choices, which means they’re likely to be model tenants. Given how hard it is to find suitable accommodation for animal owners, it’s also likely they’ll stay in a property for a long time, guaranteeing a steady return on property and minimising the fallow periods when properties lie empty and neither landlord nor agent draws any income from them.
Circumstances can be mitigated against through a pet clause in your contract
Inserting a pet clause that guarantees a tenant must professionally clean the property and eradicate all trace of animal odours when they move as well as taking responsibility for any damage the pet may cause mitigates the risk of pet occupancy putting off any future tenants, which is usually the first point of objection for landlords when it comes to accepting pets.
Do the necessary checks
Just as owning a pet is not something that you should be undertaken lightly, landlords and agents should do the same due diligence when it comes to agreeing to accept a pet into a rental. It’s imperative that the pet (and its owner) is screened thoroughly – make sure you determine the age and breed of the pet (some breeds are banned which could have legal ramifications for the landlord), how long the owner has had it and whether or not it’s insured and neutered. It’s definitely worth asking for a pet reference from the tenant’s previous landlord to get a clear picture of the animal. Landlords should be encouraged to consider the pet as an additional tenant because as we all know a dog is for life, not just for Christmas – and once they’ve agreed that a tenant can bring a pet into the property, it’s difficult to go back.
For more advice on allowing pets into your property and taking the necessary precautions, why not download our free eBook?