Should you allow pets in rental properties?
Here in the UK, pets are popular. A quick Google search will show you that there’s plenty of science behind the benefits of having a four-legged friend and there is an estimated 51 million pets in the UK. However, as a landlord, what are the pros and cons of allowing your tenants to own pets?
The benefits of pets
Pets are good for us, studies show that, but they are also a responsibility and for landlords it can be a worry. It’s important to decide if the property you are renting will allow pets or not and to be clear in a tenancy agreement to avoid confusion.
Landlords can often agree to allow certain pets and not others, or add charges for any extra wear or tear to the property caused by the pets.
A study by weroom.com revealed that tenants were willing to pay up to £484 more rent a year if they could have a dog, so financially it could make sense to allow pets in a rented property. By allowing pets a landlord has a much wider range of tenants to consider too.
The pros and cons of pets in rented property
Let’s look at the pros and cons of pet-friendly tenancies:
- Tenants are often willing to pay more for pet-friendly properties as they are so few and far between. A landlord can take advantage of this and charge higher rent.
- The number of pet owners in the UK is high, so marketing your property as pet-friendly opens it to a greater number of potential tenants.
- If you are clear about pets in your advertisements, your prospective tenants won’t need to lie or attempt to sneak a pet in anyway. This means you can set rules and boundaries that you’re both happy with.
- Tenants who have found a pet-friendly home to rent are more likely to stay as it’s harder to find accommodation that allows them. You can build a rapport with your tenant and they are more likely to keep the property in good condition.
- Some pets may concern the neighbours if they’re noisy or badly behaved. Dogs that bark or howl are often the cause of neighbourly disputes.
- A previously pet-friendly property may be difficult to rent to anyone with allergies in the future unless you pay for a deep clean between tenancies.
- Pets can be destructive. If you provide furniture it may require extra cleaning or repair during and between tenancies.
Guidance for allowing tenants to keep pets
Due to the lack of available rented property for pet owners, The Dog’s Trust set up Lets With Pets a place for both tenants and landlords to get advice and guidance. Landlords can register their property to make it easier for renters with pets to find them and there’s a whole section on advice for landlords and letting agencies about pets.
Landlords can ask prospective tenants to provide a reference from a previous landlord about their pet. If they haven’t rented with a pet before, they could also ask their vet to provide some details such as the behaviour of the pet.
Some questions landlords can ask a prospective tenant about their pet as part of the reference include:
- How long did the tenant live in the previous property with their pets?
- Which pets did they own at that time?
- Does the referee consider the tenant to be a responsible pet owner?
- Were the tenant's pets well behaved?
- Did their pets cause any damage to the property?
- Did their pets cause a nuisance to neighbours or visitors?
Let haart help
Of course, haart are on hand to help you as a landlord. We know you’re busy, so work to support you through our online articles, property management services, and in-branch advice. Get in touch with your local haart branch for a chat through your options as a landlord and how haart can help you.