Renting with Pets | Letting a Pet-Friendly Property | Decorus for Sage

Renting with Pets – A Guide for Landlords

renting with pets, leased tenants

Renting with Pets – A Guide for Landlords

Given the risks of wear and tear, most landlords choose to ban pets from staying in their rented properties. However, as more people choose to rent and for longer periods, the government has decided to revaluate the existing practices surrounding renting with pets.

When most landlords think about pets in leased properties, they jump to the thought of property damage. However, there are positives and negatives to allowing pet owners to rent.

The Pros

According to the Dogs Trust, a staggering 78% of pet owners have struggled to find pet-friendly accommodation. On top of this, the government revealed in a study that only 7% of landlords advertise their vacancies as ‘pet friendly’.

This means that allowing tenants to rent with pets can make your property highly sought after. As a result, you will get to choose your tenants from a much larger pool of people.

Most tenants will be grateful to find a home that allows renting with pets and as a result, will likely become great occupants. Pet owners are also likely to stay in the property longer than non-pet owners, which provides landlords with reliable, long-term income.

As pet-friendly properties are in such high demand, you will be able to charge more in rent. You will also be able to raise the tenancy deposit under reasonable grounds, as the risk of property damage is greater with a pet.

The Cons

Pets can pose a risk to properties as they can cause physical damage when poorly trained or distressed. Many landlords see this as the main threat to their leases regardless of the animal’s behaviour. Dogs tend to be the main offenders due to their size, but any type of pet can cause property deterioration. Similarly, pet odour can affect the property value in the long term.

Another common issue with pets is noise. Loud animals can disturb surrounding tenants, which will inevitably lead to complaints. This is particularly prominent when an animal is left for longer periods of time and the animal gets scared. For this reason, it is essential that pet owners will be able to dedicate the time that their pet needs.

Lastly, some tenants may have allergies to the animals in the building. If you have chosen to accept pets within your properties, you will need to make this clear to any potential tenant.

Government Changes

With so many tenants choosing to rent longer, the government has decided to overhaul the current contract template to help support pet owners. This comes after a turbulent year for the housing market and a fluctuation in adoptions during lockdown.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Pets bring a huge amount of joy and comfort to people’s lives, helping their owners through difficult times and improving their mental and physical wellbeing. So, it’s a shame that thousands of animal-loving tenants and their children can’t experience this because they rent their homes instead of owning property.

“So, I’m overhauling our model tenancy contract to encourage more landlords to consider opening their doors to responsible pet owners. And we will be listening to tenants and landlords to see what more we can do to tackle this issue in a way that is fair to both.

“This is part of this new Government’s mission to improve life for tenants, recognising that more are renting and for longer in life. We’ve already taken action, banning unfair letting fees and capping tenancy deposits, saving tenants across England at least £240million a year, and I will continue to take more steps to secure a better deal for renters up and down the country.”

If you wish to start renting to pet owners, these are the steps we would recommend.

References from Other Landlords

In a similar vein to checking tenants, you may also request information from previous landlords on the pet’s behaviour. Fellow landlords are likely to empathise with your concerns and provide you with accurate information to help you decide.

Pet Policy

A pet policy is always advised as it protects your property and your wallet. The policy should outline the conditions for keeping pets in the property.

If you run into any disputes, this document can be used as written evidence to clarify what you agreed. Once it has been created, you can also use it for other requests for renting with pets. For this reason, it is wise to cover all scenarios so it can protect you in every situation.

Here are some of the things you should consider for your policy:

It is wise to instruct the tenant to:

Existing Pet Laws

For further legal information on keeping and caring for animals, please consult the existing policies below.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006

The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976

The Animals Act 1971


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