Can I charge for a woof?

by Readers Question

14:41 PM, 25th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Can I charge for a woof?

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Can I charge for a woof?

We let as standard no pets, but I received a request from the Council to house an older lady with a Jack Russell pet

Is there anything I can do to protect myself from potential damage and extra cleaning required etc?

I know can’t take more than 5 weeks deposit so now what?

What could I do instead?

Many thanks

Reluctant Landlord



Comments

Neil Patterson

14:44 PM, 25th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

The easiest answer I have seen post deposit rules is just to increase the monthly rental by £50pcm

steve p

0:44 AM, 26th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 25/08/2020 - 14:44
I think though if its clearly an extra charge for having a dog then it might be open for challenge as a fee for the dog which could open yourself up to all sorts of fines.

I would recommend trying to get a guarantor instead.

moneymanager

10:23 AM, 26th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by steve p at 26/08/2020 - 00:44
I can tell you for a fact that English City Partnerships "Slate Yard" development in Salford levies addtional rent and a load of other conditions including regularly evidenced insurance and de-fleaing.

JohnCaversham

10:29 AM, 26th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Dogs and cats....!? I've always taken a view on this indeed we have a few tenants with pets..For me if the tenant is going to stay for a considerable length of time then a pet has minimal impact as you'll be refitting/decorating/replacing carpets anyway at yr 6-9... If however the tenancy is shorter term then i wouldn't take a tenant with a dog, as a set of carpets/replacing chewed doors and a redec at say year 2/3 post tenancy is a financial killer- £2-4k anyone?---£50-75pm additional rent is the only way to go..... Who'd want to be a Landlord! lol

Ashleigh

10:34 AM, 26th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

I have let a few of our houses to people with pets, usually older people or young professionals without children. I always issue them with a pet policy, easily printed online and incorporate it with the tenancy agreement. To be honest I have always found pet owners less problematic than some people imagine! They tend to stay longer at the property and I have never had any problems. Give her a chance!

Dylan Morris

11:13 AM, 26th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

I’m generalising but some Jack Russells can be very noisy. Also quite aggressive, one of my neighbours had one and it killed 3 cats. Might be worth getting to the bottom of why the lady is moving. And perhaps speak to a few of her current neighbours to see whether the dog was a nuisance. Could of course be a lovely well behaved dog that’s no trouble at all. But a bit of due diligence required IMO.

Chris @ Possession Friend

11:51 AM, 26th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

As Neil says, you could increase the rent, but my preferred option ( in fact for ALL tenancies ) is to ask for a ( suitable ) Guarantor.

From what I've seen over the last year or so, especially with the extra Govt intervention - regulation - restrictions ( Tenant Fee ban, etc ) more and more Landlords are adopting this as standard practice.

Yes its going to restrict a lot of renters choice in finding somewhere to rent, but they have so-called Tenant support groups, some masquerading as charities and of course the Government for listening to them, to 'thank'

Prakash Tanna

14:32 PM, 26th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

I have a dog and many of my tenants have a dog or cat and generally don't see a problem with it. Actually, I prefer somebody with a pet as I find they are better tenants (generalising from my own experience over the past 15+yrs). I would never charge anybody extra rent for having a pet. Would you charge extra if they had a baby that was going to be sick everywhere or a teenager who might be troublesome and have a tantrum?

Beaver

17:26 PM, 26th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

I had a tenancy where the tenant had a dog. It was a spaniel, shed lots of hair and it took about twice as long at the end of the tenancy to get all the hair out of the carpets because the tenant didn't clean the property and the dog hair kept blocking the carpet cleaner. The trouble with spaniel hair is that it is long and a bit greasy.

On the other hand I have two Jack Russell bitches. When they were puppies they used to chew, but after about a year of age they stopped. The only issue with cleaning is that they continually shed short white dog hairs. As we have hard floors that's not an issue because the vacuum cleaner picks them up.

So if this is an elderly lady (for whom the Jack Russell might be her main companion) I think my starting point would be:

- do you have carpets or hard floors?
- how old is the Jack Russell?
- can she pay? Does she have a reliable pension?
- does she understand that there could be extra cleaning costs at the end of the tenancy because she has a dog?

An elderly lady who doesn't spend much and has a reliable income living in your property with a small dog *might* be a very good tenant. I wouldn't be automatically excluding her.

Michael Bond

10:47 AM, 29th August 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Say "No".
Landlords are still allowed to choose whom we have as tenants; and you don't have to say that you are rejecting the lady because of her dog.
Why is the Council asking you, a PRS landlord, to house this tenant? Has she proved a problem? Do they not have plenty of Registered Social Landlord accommodation that they can call on?
I smell several rats, which the Jack Russel has done nothing to dispose of.

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