The Public Liability Insurance Blog

Renting with pets

This is a guest post from Urban Sales and Lettings.

calculatorRenting with pets is a tricky subject for both tenants and landlords. Tenants with pets, especially cats or dogs, can find it very difficult, not to mention frustrating to secure a rental property where the landlord is happy to accept their beloved pet. Landlords want good tenants and don’t want to turn them down because they have a pet but on the other hand they are also very aware of the damage a pet can potentially cause to their property. So what’s the answer?

As tenants with a pet the best thing you can do it be upfront about it. When you are browsing through the listings on Rightmove, if an advert states “no pets”, don’t waste your time enquiring. The owner has specified no pets for a reason. If a landlord is flexible when it comes to pets but appears concerned that you have a Great Dane, offering a higher deposit as protection could resolve the problem.

We are known as a nation of pet lovers so landlords who refuse all tenants with pets are automatically reducing their number of potential tenants. As a landlord, if you are renting your property privately be clear on your pet policy in your marketing. If you are happy with pets living in your property say so, if not make it clear that pets are not accepted. If you have instructed an agent, ensure they are clear on your views so you don’t end up wasting time referencing unsuitable tenants. If pets are allowed at a property it is always advisable that regular maintenance inspections are made and the tenant should always be present at these visits so any issues can be discussed.

Essentially when it comes to the pet question it’s all down to the individual. Each landlord will have their own view on pets and most will sensibly take things on a case by case basis. Many landlords are happy to have pets in properties that have gardens; properties without gardens may well have stricter policies. Reasonable landlords will not turn down good tenants who have a goldfish but may have different rules about larger animals such as cats and dogs.

If you do decide to rent to pet owners - be certain you:

1. Request a pet reference: Contact the tenant’s previous landlord to ask for a pet reference and be sure to ask about the pets behaviour and any damage caused due to the pet.

2. Increase the deposit: To protect against potential damage you may wish to take a six week deposit rather than four weeks.

3. Check your insurance policy: Read through your policy carefully. You may not be covered if you let to tenants with pets.

4. Look at your lease: Check you have the permission to let out the property to tenants who have pets.

5. Make sure your AST is clear: Set out in writing what your tenants’ responsibilities are. Do the carpets need to be professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy? If so make sure it is clear.

Making sure you safeguard your property against potential problems will widen your choice of tenants, certainly something to consider if you are in a void period or having trouble letting the property. Also keep in mind tenants with pets tend to stay in a property longer than those without!

Written by Urban Sales and Lettings selling and letting property online