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Renting to Pet Owners
Britain is a nation of pet lovers and with lockdown many more of us went out and bought a dog or cat. In fact, even in 2019, a YouGov poll showed that 50% of adults owned a pet. But in stark contrast to this, despite the renewed demand for rental properties across the UK, a mere 7% of landlords offer pet friendly rental opportunities.
But, with the number of pet owning households soaring alongside record demand for rental properties, landlords happy to offer a home to the nation’s animal companions could be set to gain.
Is It Legal for Landlords to Refuse Pets?
With the announcement of the new model tenancy agreement pet owning renters are set to have more accessibility to the private rental sector than seen in recent years. Government figures state that the number of landlords across the UK that currently advertise pet friendly rentals to be a dismal 7; however, under the new regulation’s landlords will not be able to uphold a blanket refusal of pets within their rental property.
Instead, landlords will have to provide the tenant with a legitimate reason as to why the rental would be a poor fit for the pet within 28 days, typically seeing owners state the lack of space available in smaller flats, ect.
Why Do Landlords Hate Pets?
Understandably, many landlords don’t like the idea of their investment property’s skirting boards being chewed by a puppy or their fabric sofa being ripped by a cat’s claws, and whilst owners typically charged a higher deposit to cover these expenditures, with the Tenant Fees Act establishing a limit on deposits, many landlords simply closed their doors to animal lovers.
Are Pet Owners’ Better Tenants?
As can be expected this will largely be determined by the type of tenancy the owner is looking for, as mentioned tenants that rent alongside their pets tend to typically reside within rental properties for longer, offering a landlord increased security surrounding their rental income, and allowing them to avoid repeatedly paying agency fees to find new tenants.
Referencing Tenants With Pets
Many landlords believe that similarly to assessing the character of the applicant that could soon be your future tenant, understanding how their furry friends will behave once they have moved in will be key in determining if they are the ideal fit for your rental opportunity. This can be done through initially meeting the pet in their current rental, allowing you to see them interact with an environment that they have settled into. Owners have also been known to consult the tenant’s previous landlord to ask if the tenant caused any noise complaints, additional cleaning or damage to the rental and its contents.
Should I Rent to Pet Owners?
But, there is plenty of reasons to be in favour of tenants with pets too. And, in fact, here are three top reasons to welcome pets in your rented property:
Far more tenants will be interested in looking at your property if you say you are fine about pets. All those tenants with a pet who would instantly dismiss your advert, for starters. This means that your property will probably get let sooner rather than later, meaning a reduction in void periods (a blessing to all landlords).
Tenants will be far more likely to keep renting your flat if you let them keep their pet. That’s because, despite an increase in the number of people living in the UK with a pet, the number of Private Rental Sector (PRS) properties advertising as ‘pet friendly’ hasn’t risen in response. Again, having tenants willing to stay for longer and perhaps take out a year’s or three-year lease, means fewer void periods for you and less admin as a result.
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