July 21, 2016
Cool dog in shades

Almost half the UK population own a pet, yet many landlords are reluctant to accept pets!

According to research by The Dogs Trust, some 78% of pet owners reported that they had experienced difficulty finding rented accommodation that would accept pets. The Dogs Trust also suggest that some 45% of UK households currently own a pet.

However, if you are a landlord, agreeing to accept pets can help you maximise your return on investment for the following reasons:

  • Your pool of prospective tenants will increase
  • You are therefore more likely to let your property quickly with shorter void periods
  • Pet owners will often pay a larger deposit or sizeable “pet premium” due to the scarcity of properties that accept pets
  • Pet owners are more likely to stay longer in a property and accept they may need to cover additional cleaning costs when they leave.

A blanket ban on pet ownership by tenants is actually regarded as an “unfair term”, and there is no reason why most pets cannot be accommodated within the existing terms of the lease (which already provides for “no damage”). Obviously goldfish, budgies and hamsters are unlikely to cause a problem, but landlords can worry about cats and dogs.

Cat-owning tenants should confirm that a “scratching post” will be provided. Not all dogs moult, and not all bark. Indeed, having a dog that barks occasionally can increase security.

A written reference from a previous landlord is obviously a good idea, and you may even wish to meet the pet first – it will then be up to you as to whether you wish to accept them, all we suggest is that you keep an open mind.

Here is a “Pet Check List”, which may help landlords come to a decision about accepting a pet owning prospective tenant. You can find this and a bunch of other information on the Lets With Pets website click the following link www.letswithpets.org.uk

For all pet owners

  • What type of pets do you own and how many?
  • How long have you had your pets for?
  • Are you able to provide a reference for your pet from a previous landlord?
  • Are your pets registered with a local veterinary practice?
  • Are your pets regularly vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms (depending on the pet in question)
  • Do you have someone who can care for your pet in case of an emergency or while you are away on holiday?

For cat owners (additional)

  • Is your cat trained to use a litter tray?
  • Do you keep your cat inside or will it need to go outside of the property?
  • Will you need a cat flap? 

For dog owners (additional)

  • How often do you walk/exercise your dog?
  • How often will your dog be left at home alone and for how long?
  • Do you have a dog sitter or dog walker for when you are not at home?
  • Is your dog toilet trained?
  • How does your dog get along with other people, such as visitors to the property?
  • Has your dog ever attended obedience or behaviour training classes?