As block managing agents, this is a frequently debated topic for leasehold properties and it’s no surprise as to why – as 50% of UK adults own a pet, with 26% having a dog and 24% having a cat. However, having a pet can affect residential living especially those in a leasehold property.
If you are looking to buy a property, a conveyancer would obtain the Title Deeds from the Land Registry to find out the terms of the lease which would include whether you can keep any pets.
If you are looking to buy a house, this is most likely freehold and therefore you would not have any restrictions with pets at the property, however, if you are looking to buy an apartment or rent a property, these will likely come with restrictions on pets prohibited at the property.
Title deeds are paper documents which confirm the chain of ownership for land and property. The Land Registry keeps these copies digitally so are easily accessible. Title Deeds often include conveyances, contracts for sale, wills, mortgages and leases.
These will vary from property to property, however, when you purchase an apartment you will most likely have a lease. This will stipulate items such as service charges, ground rent and pets. Most apartment purchases are on a leasehold basis, which means it will have a leasehold title. The lease should list restrictions, covenants, and obligations by which you must abide.
The lease may state that it is prohibited to keep a pet within the apartment, or it may say a pet can be kept in the property with written consent. The lease may also state that consent may not be unreasonably withheld, but may also be revoked at any time.
Pets can sometimes be seen as a ‘nuisance’ and could disturb other residents and therefore a lease may include covenants stating that a leaseholder must not do anything which could constitute a nuisance. For example the most common pet nuisance being a dog that barks.
If a lease doesn’t mention pets, it should not be assumed that these are permitted. It is always best to check with the managing agent/freeholder to confirm. Pets may be refused under the general nuisance clause.
If you are a landlord looking to rent out a property this is something usually you can decide and then notify your managing agent. This will then be stipulated in the tenancy agreement. However, if you own an apartment in a block of flats, the same rules apply as you are a leaseholder, and therefore you also need to make sure that you check the permissions of a pet with the block managing agent as even though you might be happy to allow a pet in your property, the managing agents of the overall development may prohibit this and it will all depend on your lease.
Landlords may not permit pets in their property due to potential damage as well as noise disturbance. Landlords find properties easier to re-let if there are no signs of previous pets. However, we are recognising that more landlords will accept pets providing a pet deposit is put down on the property or it is agreed at the start of the tenancy that the property will be professionally cleaned at the end.
Build to rent schemes are often apartments blocks that are ‘pet-friendly’ catering to a ‘lifestyle experience. Our recent scheme at ‘Bayscape Living’ offers a similar set-up where pets are permitted in the apartments. In addition, these schemes often have a variety of ‘tenant perks’ including parking, laundry service, yoga classes etc. We find that these type of schemes rent quicker and for a premium.
If you are a developer or a landlord, a ‘no pet’ clause would offer a simple solution if you don’t want pets in the properties, however, build to rent schemes are disrupting the market and with Covid Isolation, many people rely on pets as a company, it should be taken into consideration whether a pet could be permitted at the property. With the addition of a pet deposit and perhaps a premium rent offered to those with pets it may be a good opportunity to boost your rental income.
Whether you are a leaseholder or a landlord of an apartment, you should read the lease/tenancy agreement prior to moving in if you are looking to have a pet in the property. For any further advice regarding property or block managing please contact us.