Landlords: tips for letting rental properties to pet owners
Aug 15, 2021
We are a nation of pet lovers. In 2020, a total of 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a new pet as a result of the pandemic, meaning the country now has 17 million pet-owning homes.
Young people are the main drivers of this trend, with more than half of new pet owners aged 16 to 34. This trend is one landlords should be aware of, since younger people are more likely to be in the rental market,
Earlier this year, the government updated the Model Tenancy Agreement to allow tenants to keep pets in rental properties by default. However, it’s not mandatory for landlords or agents to use this contract when letting rental properties.
Despite this, it could still be easier for responsible tenants with well-behaved pets to secure rented accommodation.
A recent survey by Intus Lettings revealed 55% of landlords support this change in the standard tenancy agreement, and 24% strongly support it. Only 18% oppose it, revealing that many landlords see the benefits of letting to pet owners.
Landlords in England can no longer put a blanket ban on pets within their properties and responsible tenants with well-behaved pets will be able to secure leases more easily through a new standard tenancy agreement.
This is a massive change for landlords. Most common reasons for not allowing pets include fear of damage, bad smells and the fact that many leaseholds ban animals in properties. Here are some of the pros and cons of allowing pets:
• Allowing pets in your rental property can open your property up to a wider audience of potential tenants of pet owners and non-pet owners alike
• By increasing your audience of potential tenants, demand for your property could increase and you could expect a higher rental price per calendar month
• 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 risk having periods where your property is empty
• Introducing a pet can increase the risk of damage to the property and can cause increased wear and tear on furniture or floors
• Barking dogs can upset the neighbours and be a source of ongoing dispute, or dog fouling in local gardens and parks can be a real issue
• Many landlord insurance policies won’t cover damage caused by a tenant’s pets
Here, insurance firm AXA, looks at the UK Government’s new Model Tenancy Agreement, the ‘valid reasons’ for refusing a request to keep pets, and what your legal rights are as a landlord, and how to protect your property when accepting pets.