0:03 AM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago 12
A whopping 75% of landlords are in a furry fury and will raise rents in response to the upcoming Renter’s Reform Bill which aims to make it harder to refuse tenants with pets, a survey reveals.
Mortgages for Business, a specialist buy-to-let broker, surveyed landlords and discovered that 17% plan to increase rents without altering their business model.
And 60% intend to take out insurance against pet-related damages – a cost that will inevitably be passed on to tenants through higher rents.
That’s despite the Bill stating that the tenant would be responsible for organising pet insurance cover.
The firm also says that half of the landlords (50%) they questioned admitted they would hike up tenants’ deposits to protect themselves from any potential pet-induced chaos.
Though the survey doesn’t make clear if this would exceed the five-week maximum that is legally stipulated.
Jeni Browne, a director of Mortgages for Business, said: “Government statistics suggest only 7% of landlords currently market their properties as ‘pet-friendly’. This is not an accident.
“It’s expensive to be a landlord to tenants with pets: they can damage properties and lower the market value of a property, too.
“As such, it’s reasonable to refuse tenants with pets — it keeps costs down.
“So, an important unintended consequence of the ill-conceived Renters’ Reform Bill is that three-quarters of landlords are going to be forced to jack-up rents for all tenants in case some of them have a pet.”
She added: “No wonder Michael Gove is backtracking over half of it already.
“This legislation will be fabulous for the minority of tenants who are actually pet-owners — but it’s not a great look for a government that’s supposed to be helping tenants in the face of a cost-of-living crisis.”
The study also reveals that a staggering 85% of landlords and letting agents have experienced pet damage to their properties, with 57% unable to recover the repair bill.
The new Bill will prevent landlords from ‘unreasonably’ denying pet requests from tenants.
And if the Bill becomes law, landlords will have to provide a written objection after receiving a tenant’s request – and offer a ‘good reason’ for the refusal.
Mortgages for Business also notes that Labour’s proposed Renters’ Charter also plans to limit landlords’ rights to reject pets.
And other research shows that homes with visible evidence of pets living there can lose nearly 5% of their value, costing owners an average of £13,911 when selling the property.
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