𝙄𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙚𝙚-𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙪𝙩𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙, 𝙬𝙚 𝙡𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙡𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙩𝙮 𝙩𝙤 𝙖 𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙖 𝙥𝙚𝙩.
Should tenants be allowed to keep pets in rental properties? It’s a thorny subject that is back in the spotlight after an MP called for landlords to be more flexible on the issue.
Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell argues that preventing tenants from being with their beloved pet companion is cruel and discriminatory.
“For most people, being separated from your dog is really no different than being separated from your brother or your sister,” he says.
Mr Rosindell has put forward a bill that would give tenants the right to live with their pet, providing that they can show they are responsible and caring.
While the bill is still some way off becoming law – it’s not clear yet whether enough MPs will back it – it does indicate a growing interest in the issue.
A study by YouGov and Mars Petcare found that two-thirds of private tenants would like to have a pet.
However, only around 7% of landlords advertise homes as suitable for pets, meaning there’s a yawning chasm between the number of renters who yearn to have a four-legged friend of their own, and properties where this is possible.
𝗗𝗲𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗱𝘀
Landlords have an ultimate say over whether pets are allowed in a property, although the Consumer Rights Act 2015 prohibits blanket pet bans.
Instead, landlords can include a clause in the contract requiring tenants to request permission to keep a pet. Landlords can refuse a request but need to provide a good reason for doing so.
If you receive such a request, here are a few key issues to consider.
1 Introducing a pet into a property can increase the risk of costly damage. Some landlords have horror stories about dogs digging up gardens, and cats clawing furniture and leaving carpets flea-ridden.
2 If the property is leasehold, some leasehold agreements do not allow pets.
3 Barking dogs can upset the neighbours and be a source of ongoing dispute.
4 Allowing a reliable tenant to keep a pet could encourage them to stay long term, meaning you don’t have to bother finding new tenants and running more reference checks.
5 Allowing pets could make your property more marketable and therefore you can raise the rent.
6 Rodent reduction – Cats kill rats and mice, so provide an element of pest protection.
𝗢𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
7 Not all pets are equal. The impact of having a 90kg Great Dane living in a property differs greatly from a caged hamster or a cat. Talk in detail to your tenant about the pet they would like to have, and how they intend to look after it.
8 If the tenant owns the pet already, ask to set vet records to ensure it is vaccinated and microchipped.
9 If the tenant kept a pet at their previous property, ask for a reference from the landlord in question.
10 Make specific provision in the contract for the pet in question so that your tenant can’t take advantage of your generosity and acquire a menagerie of animals.
𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘱𝘦𝘵𝘴, 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘤𝘩. 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘓𝘦𝘺𝘴𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘬, 𝘸𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘢 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘸 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘺.
𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬 𝗟𝗲𝘆𝘀𝗯𝗿𝗼𝗼𝗸