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Landlords: Should you accept pets? A Guide.

According to 2016’s Pet Population Report, 40% of UK households own a pet of some description. However, on many leading property websites’ such as Zoopla show that less than 3% of Rental’s (taken from results in London) will openly accept pets.

This comes as no surprise as for many years now it has been notoriously difficult to find a landlord that is happy to let to pet owners. Contrary to popular opinion though, there are many definite benefits in allowing your tenants to Keep pets.

These include that you are widening the pool of tenants you can choose from, and often tenants with pets are much less likely to want to relocate often due to the difficulty of finding a property.

There are however, some things that you must take into consideration when letting to Pet owners:

  1. Take the animal itself into consideration.

Letting to pet owners is not a ‘one size fits all’ situation and you really need to make your assessment on a case-to-case basis. Your final decision will likely depend on many factor’s including the type of animal, the property, the property location and the property neighbors.

  1. Negotiate a higher rent.

As with all tenancies, reasonable wear and tear is something that can’t be recovered from the security deposit. This should therefore be accounted for in the rent your tenants pay. With many animals, it can only be expected that the amount of wear-and-tear to the property is going to slightly increase. Consequently, you can protect the property from this by charging a little bit more. For example, an extra £50 a month will mean that over the course of a year you would have gained £600 which would be enough to cover replacement carpets and touch up any paintwork, if necessary.

  1. The same goes for the deposit.

Whilst a fair amount of wear-and-tear accounts for any natural deterioration of the property over time, the deposit can be used to recover the observable costs incurred from any breach of the tenancy agreement. That includes the rectification of any damage caused because of the tenant’s misuse or negligence.

This means that scratches on the walls, a frayed carpet of the need for professional cleaners at a property which has housed pets can be recuperates from the deposit. However, do keep in mind that this might not be necessary if the tenant looks after the property they will get the whole deposit back.

  1. Make your tenancy agreement account for pets.

To protect the property from running riot with animals it is best to avoid clauses in the tenancy agreement which grant an open ‘pets accepted’ policy. This is because these clauses can be open to abuse by the tenants. A better way is to specify the pets that would be allowed in the property, and account for the tenant’s liability for the proper control of the animal and their responsibility for any cleaning, dis-infestation and fumigation that might be needed.

  1. Make your inventory impenetrable.

This is good practice regardless of whether or not you choose to accept pets, this is because without a watertight inventory, you have no claims on your tenants deposit.

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