In our last tenant survey, 22% of respondents said they were concerned about restrictions on having pets in a rental property and 31% said they’d be prepared to pay more if pets were allowed. So, if you currently refuse pets, be aware you could be missing out on more than a fifth of those looking for accommodation - many of whom make excellent tenants - not to mention some extra rent.
The main concerns for landlords are, naturally: damage to the property, adverse smells, and the possibility of a flea infestation. However, the reality is that most pet owners consider their furry friends as real members of the family and look after them very well. They also tend to stay longer in properties, because of the difficulty of finding another suitable home that will accept pets, which reduces void periods and tenant changeover costs.
Remember it is entirely up to you which pets you accept, so if you have any concerns, you can always turn down the tenant on those grounds. But most tenants with pets, particularly those with dogs, will have had a hard time finding somewhere to live, so will be keen to impress you. Many will already have got references and information about their pet to hand, either from a previous landlord or indeed their vet to reassure you. Some may even offer to have the property professionally cleaned themselves at the end of the let.
Five top tips before accepting a pet
Meet the pet to make sure it’s well-behaved and suitable for the property – e.g. if it’s a small flat, it might be wise not to accept a big dog and if it barks a lot, consider how that might impact the neighbours
Get a reference from a previous landlord
Ask for their vet’s information and details of the pet’s last vaccinations, plus any flea and worming treatments
Take an extra security deposit, if before June 1st 2019 to cover any damage by the pet and the cost of additional cleaning at the end of the tenancy.
Include a separate ‘pet clause’ in the tenancy agreement, outlining the conditions of the pet being accepted.
Could you increase your rent by letting your property to tenants with pets?