If you are a landlord with a rental property, you may have had previous requests for pet-friendly tenancies. As pet ownership increases, we have seen requests for pets in properties rise and more landlords offering pet-friendly tenancies. As your managing agent, we can ensure that you are able to offer pet-friendly tenancies in a way that wont leave you out of pocket. Recent data from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) confirms that they receive low numbers of pet-related deposit disputes, providing landlords prepare for ‘lets with pets’ properly.
As pet-friendly tenancies increase, you may be interested to read on, however, if you own a leasehold property you will need to check with the freeholder or managing agent of the block before you can allow a pet to your tenant – check out our pets in a leasehold property to find out more.
It’s important to understand your tenants needs and why they might have a pet. Pets can be used to tackle loneliness and companionship, especially since recent lockdowns. The increase in working from home has also allowed more people to look after pets at home and have become even more popular due to increased time in the home. It has also been proven that pets improve wellbeing and provide physical and mental health benefits.
There can also be commercial reasons for allowing pets in your rental property. Research from ‘The Negotiator’ found that pet friendly properties can achieve £15-£25 PCM extra in rent. The potential increase in rental income can be beneficial for landlords to boost investment portfolios. It also opens you to the market of ‘lets with pets’, where the property becomes more appealing if it’s advertised as pet-friendly and helps secure longer term tenants as people with pets are less likely to be uprooted frequently.
Before you decide to allow pets make sure you prepare the property for pet-friendly tenancies. Think of ways to eliminate damage such as providing more hardwearing furniture that is less likely to be scratched/torn and potentially switching from carpets to laminate flooring. It’s also worth checking the garden is pet friendly with any fence repairs complete and fully functioning gates etc. In addition, be mindful you may need flexibility for other pet-friendly adjustments, such as installing cat flaps etc.
Seraph would recommend that you add a pet clause to any pet friendly tenancies, stating tenants responsibilities and adding in a cleaning agreement if you feel necessary. This will avoid any cleaning disputes at the end of the tenancy due to having pets in the property. We’d often recommend that the tenant agrees to have the property professionally cleaned and carpets/mattresses steam cleaned at the end of the tenancy. A pet deposit can also be taken (Wales only!), so you can hold an additional deposit to cover the cost of any cleaning that wasn’t done as part of the contract at the end of the tenancy. Using a pet policy to specify things like number and type of pets allowed can also prove beneficial. If a tenant wants a pet midway through their tenancy you could put in place a pet addendum. If your property is managed by Seraph we can assist with pet policies, clauses and addendums.
If you are looking to switch to a pet-friendly tenancy, we’d also suggest getting as much information about the pet as possible. Landlords can make decisions on a case by case basis based on type of pet if necessary. We may be able to obtain references from a previous landlord regarding the pet for extra peace of mind. Finding out the pets breed, if it’s long haired/short-haired etc can help you make your decision too. Also, we will ask whether they work from home etc, to establish how long the pet would be left alone in the property. We can also obtain details of the pets name and details of who should care for it, in case of an emergency.
If you would like to offer your property as ‘Pet-Friendly’ contact our property management team today.