Creating opportunities by letting to pet owners


Property 118 - Published on 05/03/2013
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Creating opportunities by letting to pet ownersAt present I let several on my properties to tenants with pets. Being a pet lover myself I have always been open to doing so. However, as a landlords I accept there are risks and over the years I have worked out a system which makes me feel comfortable letting to pet owners.

This also makes good business sense as almost half the UK population owns pets.

Being open to letting with pets helps maximise the returns on all rental properties.

I have always made it clear to any potential tenant that there are no excuses for bad animal behaviour. If their pet become a nuisance it is down to them and puts them in breach of their tenancy agreement and could lead to their eviction.

I explain that if the pet damages the property in any way, for whatever reason, they will be expected to make good the damage. I also have them agree to have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy. This is not a cleanliness issue as such, but a health issue as the next tenant might be allergic.

I normally write all this up and have it in a special section in my Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If I am particularly worried, I have in the past asked for an additional deposit. This has to be included in the total deposit and entered into the tenancy deposit scheme as per your normal practice.

Recently I came across the Dogs Trust and in particular, a scheme called Let with Pets. The Let with Pets scheme makes the process of privately renting with pets easier for letting agencies, landlords and pert owners by providing practical tips, tools and a step-by-step guide.

The Benefits :

  • Increase number of potential tenants
  • Reduced void periods
  • Minimise risk
  • Professionally cleaned properties at the end of a tenancy.

The free scheme offers

  • A Renting to Pets Owners Guide
  • A pre tenancy checklist
  • A Renting  with Pets guide for tenants including advice on; putting together a pet CV, getting a pet reference and a  website containing all of these free downloadable resources and more. See www.letswithpets.org.uk

About the author of this Post

Sydney Lewis A+ InventoriesSyd Lewis has been a private landlord for over 20 years, he is an accredited member of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Sponsor of the Good Landlords Campaign, a full member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) and a Certified Electrical Portable Appliance Tester (NIPIT). He is passionate about what he does which is providing residential inventory services, PAT testing and marketing floor plans for Agents, Landlords and Tenants. Inventories start from £56.00 to find out more see:-

 

 

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Comments

  • Hi Syd I have no issues with pets but have experienced on many occasions the problems they can cause. There are however, before allowing pets, two major considerations the Landlord must take into account.

    The first is the disclaimer clauses in his insurance policy. Most state that you are not insured for damage by pets. What happens if your pet chews through a cable, sets the property on fire and building burns down?

    The second is any claim you wish to make from the Tenant’s Deposit at the end of the tenancy. If you have allowed pets then it is assumed by any adjudicator that you accept greater wear and tear and therefore cannot expect the property to be returned to the condition, to say, as if you had let to a retired couple.

    Other considerations are title deed conditions in block properties and climate control. One tenant kept an Iguana? which required the heat in the property to be maintained at a high temperature. This resulted in all the skirting boards, doors and frames shrinking!!


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  • Hi Neil,
    Thank you for your comments, let me start by saying these are very valid points and yes Landlords should take them into consideration.

    As my bio states, I have been a landlord for over 20 years during which time I have use many different insurance companies and I have never seen a clause in the landlords policy implying that you cannot rent to tenants with pets. But it would make good sense to call your insurer and ask. If you are not covered, ask them to cover, they may wish to charge a fee simply inform the tenant and ask them to cover the fee. If the insurer refuses, use a different insurer. Also, provided your electrical system is up to scratch then a fuse would trip before a fire started. Electrical house fires are normally started by the wires or a device overheating by a fuel source or providing an ignition by a fuel source and this can happen even if there are no pets, for peace of mind I would suggest having regular portable appliance test carried out, perhaps annually.

    Deposit deduction, you cannot deduct form a deposit for fair wear and tear only for damage the increase in deposit is to cover the potential increased risk of damage and resultant cost. If a landlord is concerned about increased wear and tear, then they would normally ask for a small increase in rent.

    Legal, as far as restrictive covenants are concerned I have assumed that the landlord will already know that they are restricted from allowing pets, so the decision as to whether to let rent to pet owners has been taken out of their hands.

    Woodwork, having been a developer for many years I know that you almost always get the shrinkage and settlement cracks. The only time I have ever seen substantial shrinkage of the type you mention was where there was too much moisture in the wood before fitting or were the job was rushed (not allowing time wood acclimatize to its new environment). Don’t forget wood tends to expands and shrinks with the change from winter to summer.
    Syd Lewis recently posted…National Landlords Association Warns Landlords Not To Ignore The Governments Green DealMy Profile


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  • I am a portfolio land lord and I openly seek tenants with pets as they STAY, I have rarely had a rental void, I have 9 properties 6 have pets ranging from cats to fish, I have had to use filler on skirting board where a pup chewed, but that was it.

    I support the dogs trust but did not know about this scheme, thank you for posting I will read up on it.

    I am fortunate to have many pets, unfortunately a lot come from being checked out because people can’t rent with them. I feel it is important to be humane as well as do ok in business. Karma and all that!

    I have kept iguanas for years, they do not need excessive heat, my skirting etc has never warped. They are interesting quiet pets they grow up to six foot live between 13 and 20 years in captivity.

    I am ignorant regards insurance, however I’ will read the policies and look into additional indemnity. I have a background in insurance, my thinking is that if you have an upto date electric check, ie done every 5 years and when a tenant moves then the installation should cope with a fault, the consumer units nowadays are geared to such instants. Also all my properties have wired back heat and smoke detectors so I can demonstrate to an insurer due dill agency. But I want to go on a fire risk assessment course and I will also read the policies, no point paying for it if it don’t cover the risks!


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  • My typos! I must try not to watch tv and type! Sorry all


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