Landlords will hike rents to deal with pets

Landlords will hike rents to deal with pets

0:03 AM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago 12

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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.

‘Only 7% of landlords currently market their properties as ‘pet-friendly’

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.”

85% of landlords and letting agents have experienced pet damage

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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David Lester

9:17 AM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago

With current and future governments proposing to introduce some form of Tenants reform Bill I feel that a very important point is possibly going to slip under the radar. The main talking point is Section 21 and rightfully so, however some of the implications can be prevented if the Landlords business plan is correct, i.e. rent in advance, Guarantors, regular inspections etc. The point on enforcing Landlords to accept pets could be if we are not careful even more damaging and cost us all in time, money, and resources!
Below I have brainstormed my thoughts on some of the problems with being forced to allow pets, there will be those within the industry who read the content and belittle it as they know better, however my objective is to get Landlords talking about the topic before it is too late!
Landlords and pets.
1. Landlords are a business not a charity, full utilisation to properties is our objective, any distraction preventing this being met is unacceptable, this includes working for nothing by searching for tradesmen, handling insurance claims, and downtime when the property is without a paying Tenant.
2. For a landlord who does not want to allow pets, there is no foreseen benefit permitting a Tenant to have a pet in their property. There is only extra “wear and tear”, extra time organising replacement carpets etc, Tradesmen, Insurance claims, Deposit disputes, i.e., absolutely no benefits.
3. Damage to interior of house, skirting boards, doorways, doors, requiring repairing painting etc, problems, deposit, insurance, betterment, “wear and tear”, Tenant leaves and Landlord left to resolve the problems, whilst losing money on rental and time finding tradesmen.
4. Flees urine, excrement etc in carpet curtains and soft furnishings, only way to completely remove would be replacement, who pays? Insurance Company, Deposit, then disputes on betterment etc.
5. Damage to garden, lawns garden beds, this will take time and specialist trades people to repair, unacceptable presentation for new Tenants which could be used as a reason to pay reduced rent.
6. Smell inside house, in carpets, curtains etc, where should the compensation be proportioned and who pays for the Landlords time and resources, only total replacement will resolve these problems, who pays and compensation landlord for time and losses?
7. Clawing carpets, thereafter, dispute on “wear and tear” deposit, or Insurance claim, then the argument on proportioning betterment.
8. Extra down time between Tenants due to insurance claim process, repairs, and cleaning, who will compensate for this time?
9. Pet hair throughout house, normal “professional cleaning” cannot guarantee to fully remove all hair, problem, where does the Landlord seek the extra to ensure complete cleaning, the Deposit, or the Insurance and who pays for their time?
10. Informing future Tenants that pets were housed previously, Allergies, Asthma, and other breathing aliments, reduced marketplace, reduced rental income etc.
11. Noise nuisance to neighbours and pets using their gardens a Toilets.
12. Insufficient insurance as purchased by Tenant, cheapness!
13. Delay in reletting due to Insurance claim and agreeing with Assessors on cost of compensation for damage.
14. Loss of rental income, interest etc waiting for payment from any insurer and who pays the difference.
15. Time finding Tradesmen tot carryout rectification work, who pays?
16. Pets being left in house, alone all-day uncontrolled damage.
17. Deposit is not sufficient to cover potential damage, loss recovery and to compensate for time to seek, research and organise replacement goods, Tradesmen to repair, fit or install.
18. How is it possible to the Tenant to insure something they do not own?
19. Who sets the level of cover for the insurance policy, Government. Shelter, Landlords and who is the arbiter on such cover?
20. Pet Insurance which is paid for by Tenant will be the cheapest possible and will not fully indemnify the Landlord.
21. Insurance practices by nature of their business will make all endeavours to mitigate their losses, therefore in a claim situation they will require multiple quotes, examine damage, and then decide price for compensation. This price will usually be less than the cost to fully indemnify the Landlord and will not include compensation for time spent finding Tradesmen, shopping etc and loss of rental income.
22. A further major problem is the “grey area” between claiming on either the Deposit or the Insurance.
23. If Landlord is not fully indemnified, can they take the Tenant to court?
24. If a Tenant signs a contract which states no pets, is it not a breach of contract for them to house a pet? If this is the case then the entire contract is null and void
25. What are the punitive penalties that can be bestowed onto a landlord?
26. If the Government whatever colour wants to house pets, why don’t they buy their own properties?
27. If Landlords had an association that would represent the majority and be a force to be reckoned with, as Shelter is to the Tenants, we would be able to shape current and future legislation.
Unless we as Landlords can be 100% guaranteed that we will suffer no financial losses or wasted time we should not permit pets in our properties.

Reluctant Landlord

10:19 AM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lester at 31/05/2023 - 09:17
agree. Also people fail to take into account of tradespeople. Many don't like going into properties with pets. Who can blame them. What if a dog sets on someone come into to do a gas check? Owner responsible, but could they push responsibility in some way onto Landlord for allowing a pet?

I've also had issues with contactors not wanting/refusing to go into properties which are unclean to carry out work. Cat poop all over a bathroom floor when a plumber went in. He refused point blank to carry out the work and I was charged a failed call out cost. That went straight back to the tenant to pay!


11:13 AM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago

A rather important point is that there simply isn’t an insurance policy out there that covers pet damage. There are some content policies that include accidental damage, but as far as I know all exclude damage caused by chewing, scratching and fouling - which is exactly the type of damage all of us landlords will be concerned about and the most costly to rectify.
If anyone thinks they know of a policy that does include cover for these things - please do share the details!

Simon Lever - Chartered Accountant helping clients get the best returns from their properties

11:39 AM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago

If the tenant takes out the insurance policy then the tenant is the insured. The insurance company will only deal with the tenant, not the landlord.
If there is a claim and the tenant agrees an amount then the landlord cannot disoute this with the insurance company.
On a separate note:
Will it be possible to increase rents rents to cover the additional costs of a pet being in the property?
Could a property be rented for £X per month with no pets, £X + £10 per month for 1 dog, £X +15 per month for 1 cat (cats do more damage!), £X + 2 for one goldfish(!) with multiples of adiditonal amounts for each additional pet.
Would need a list of pets and additional amounts for each type of pet!

Reluctant Landlord

12:25 PM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon Lever - Chartered Accountant helping clients get the best returns from their properties at 31/05/2023 - 11:39
I was thinking the same.

IF a LL does allow pets and states UP FRONT pre contract that the rent will increase as a result to X, then I think this is fair. Both parties aware before anything signed.

By the same token if a LL states, again up front the property is not suitable for pets and no permission will be given for the same even if sought subsequently (and all parties aware of this before the contract is signed with it being reiterated in the contract itself) then it is only fair the tenant can be evicted on a breach of tenancy ground if at a later date a pet appears.

Reluctant Landlord

12:39 PM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago

i think people fail to forget, insurance (even if it was possible to be claimed by the LL) directly works on the basis of damage. No damage no claim.

Wear and tear when comes to humans is fairly well understood. Wear and tear with pets? Are 'general' scratches to woodwork and door considered damage or general wear and tear because you have deemed to allow a cat on the premises? What about the higher risk of infestation by fleas for example? Is an infestation to be accepted as something that is probably inevitable at some point where does the land lie with this?
Maybe landlords are happy to take a risk at the start of a tenancy, when they can ask a previous LL for example how the intended tenant looked after Fluffy the car or Nigel the dog, but there is no way a LL can know anything about a new pet requested after the tenancy started as there is no history of the animal Same with the owners. Has Miss X got any experience of looking after a puppy/parrot/exotic pet?


18:04 PM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lester at 31/05/2023 - 09:17
Great comment, a good list of things to think about when dealing with pets.

Will the government listen? Do they care, will they accept logic?

We know they have not considered student tenancies properly despite plenty of time and input.
They are unaccountable for the consequences of their rules so why should they care what landlords have to say.

Paul Jordan

22:33 PM, 31st May 2023, About 9 months ago

We also need to remember leasehold properties have covenants dis allowing pets

12:15 PM, 1st June 2023, About 9 months ago

Exactly my lease will Not allow any pets of any kind

Reluctant Landlord

16:56 PM, 1st June 2023, About 9 months ago

it might be easier for everyone to go get a paid for certificate from a 'professional' private medical organisation to show you are allergic to pet hair....

if you do your own property inspections then that to me is reasonable to reject a request for a pet...

Lets think of some weird and wonderful ways of getting round this and about being dictated to whom and how we rent our properties. The government started this....

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