My letter to the Times – Tenants and Pets

My letter to the Times – Tenants and Pets

10:59 AM, 20th June 2022, About 2 months ago 11

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Sir, Paul Grover (letter, Jun 17; report, Jun 16) is mistaken that landlords forced to accept pets “will require much larger deposits”.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 prohibits deposits exceeding five weeks’ rent (or six weeks’ where the rent is £50,000 or more a year).

A landlord taking a higher deposit faces a fine of up to £5,000 on the first occasion and up to £30,000 for a second breach of the act within five years.

What is more likely is that landlords will increase rents to cover the practical certainty of increased wear and tear and the significant risk of damage rendering the property unlettable without substantial cleaning and repair.

As a result all tenants, with or without pets, will pay more as landlords are forced to take on extra risk.

To see my letter in today’s Times: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/times-letters-reducing-the-prescription-of-a-pill-for-each-ill-8skj0gzgf and scroll down – subscription may be required.

Ian



Comments

Blacksheep

17:35 PM, 20th June 2022, About 2 months ago

100% correct on both the amount of deposit a landlord can stipulate and the fact that landlords are left with no option but to increase rents for tenants who want to keep pets. I have already informed a potential new tenant of the difference in the monthly rental figure if they want to keep cats. I grew up with animals in the home and have no objection to tenants keeping pets in principle. However, having been caught out by a tenant that allowed their dog to urinate on the hall carpet, a fact that the DPS wouldn't allow me to charge for, even though I had to replace the carpet and the underlay.
The other factor is a higher rent equates to a potentially higher bond as well.

Mick Roberts View Profile

8:24 AM, 21st June 2022, About 2 months ago

Well done Ian for getting it out there:

We all may love pets, however we just want to insure the possible damage that may come with the pet, just as if we buy a more expensive sports car, we allowed to get charged higher insurance.

My repeated notes on this:

Gees, how simple was it when we could just charge higher deposit for Pet owners and those that did no damage got all money back. So so simple.
No better insurance than the tenants own money.
Now look what Shelter and Generation rent and the Govt have done. Made it MUCH MUCH worse for tenants yet again.
My text below I’ve done before.

Landlords: pets are okay if you pay for extra insurance to cover any damage.
Gov: in that case we will make it illegal to charge extra insurance.
LLs: well then we will have to slightly increase deposits for those with pets.
Gov: in that case we will cap deposits at 5 weeks rent.
LLs: okay well we can’t really allow pets anymore then.
Gov: in that case we will force you to take tenants with pets.
LLs: well then we have no choice but to increase rent across the board even for tenants without pets.
Gov: oh.
Tenants: why is rent so high??

Unbelievable isn't it. If the tenant was allowed to pay a higher deposit to cover potential pet damage. And if the pet caused no damage, tenant gets deposit back, job done.
That way only those that caused damage, ie. 10% would pay for THEIR OWN DAMAGE.
The way Govt have it now is, EVERYONE loses. And now this horrendous reaction of pets now losing their lives.
U would think the Govt and Councils would actually talk to us on ground level to ask what we think. As they ALWAYS get it wrong and us in the actual job get it right cause we doing it day in. day out.

We all know what happened with scrapping Pet deposits and we told em it would happen. Now ALL pet owners pay more rent whereas before, if no damage, no charge. Now an unfair charge on every pet owner. And they've got Shelter and the others to thank for that.
Again this shows Govt interference trying to appease voters, the renters thinks Whey Hey Great! Whereas we know they end up worse off.

We told em this was gonna happen.
If they let Landlords charge a riskier higher deposit just as insurance companies charge more for more risk, then let's say 9 out of 10 pets caused no damage. They'd all get their deposits back. And the 1 out of 10 who did cause damage, they'd be the only one that paid. So all pet owners get houses, 90% get their deposit back. And only the 1 that caused the damage would pay.
As it is now, cause Shelter supported banning higher deposits, Landlords are now charging more rent to ALL pet owners, so ALL pet owners lose. All pet owners pay.
They trying to stop this. So what's gonna happen and is happening? Landlords are just refusing ALL pets. So ALL pet owners suffer. When in reality, it's only 10% that cause the damage.
Landlords know how to rent houses out. Govt doesn't.
I've had £1000 stairs chewed apart by dogs. It's not nice.

And I used to take ALL pet owners. I don't now cause of this Govt interference.

Before the Pet Owner knew straightaway they wasn't having it. Now they get messed about & get told We looking at all applications, when in reality the agent or Landlord ain't taking them. That's what's happening now with DWP UC.

DSR

8:57 AM, 21st June 2022, About 2 months ago

one simple thing that the government seems to forget. Even if the tenant can show he/she has pet insurance the day they sign the AST, they could cancel it the next day - then what?

Even if you DID put in that you accepted a pet in your TA and that at all times pet insurance had to be in place, if they breached this, the only thing you could do really do is go down the whole eviction route for breach of contract.
At any time thereafter to stall any eviction they could then just take a policy out again. Bit like the arrears situation the tenant pays under the 2 months each time a hearing is due....

I am sticking with a number of 'reasonable' reasons why I refuse pets from the offing. As long as they are reasonable (flats have no external space - not fair on animal, your insurance does not cover this) then you can refuse a pet and the law can say nothing about it. I can't see someone who is not even a tenant at that point stating they have been discriminated against as its even before an AST is granted. There's no money in that for them to take that to court.

Gromit

9:52 AM, 21st June 2022, About 2 months ago

Just seen an article about some research done into pet damage finding dogs cause ~£4,300 and cats ~£4,000 over their lifetime. So assuming 12yr lifespan thats about ~£350 per year./~£30per month.

I can see rents being inflated by this amount therefore maybe offering a discount for tenants without pets (no sure if that's legal though).

Gromit

9:57 AM, 21st June 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 21/06/2022 - 08:57
I wouldn't give a reason as it just gives ammunition to them to challenge you. I'd just say that another person got the tenancy (and let's face the choice of tenants is only heading one way at present).

Freda Blogs

11:47 AM, 21st June 2022, About 2 months ago

Apparently the lovely people at Generation Rent think that the tenant shouldn't have to pay for the pet insurance:

It says: “We believe pet insurance, which we understand costs between £10 and £20 a month, is unnecessary when the tenancy deposit is there to cover damage to the property, and landlords are already unlikely (sic) to require the maximum five weeks’ deposit. It is somewhat concerning that they [government] want to reopen the Tenant Fees Act, which has been largely successful at preventing tenants from getting ripped off. It is also unclear how pet insurance claims would interact with claims on the deposit at the end of the tenancy.”

Just who is getting ripped off here? I despair.

Freda Blogs

11:50 AM, 21st June 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 21/06/2022 - 09:57
Agreed, however, sadly that doesn't help if the tenants get the pet(s) after they've obtained the tenancy. And if they are forewarned or suspect a higher rent will be charged for having a pet, they have motivation to do exactly that.

Ian Narbeth View Profile

12:01 PM, 21st June 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 21/06/2022 - 11:47
Perhaps they think a £1000 deposit covers the landlord for any amount of arrears and property damage and loss of rent whilst the property is fixed.

It seems that the most aggressive legislation in years against landlords isn't enough for them.

So zero extra votes for the Tories from Generation Rent, Mr Gove. They want you to keep kicking landlords until we stop moving!

Ian Narbeth View Profile

12:10 PM, 21st June 2022, About 2 months ago

I am drafting an article on the issues surrounding "pet insurance" that the Government seems to think is a panacea that will solve the problem of allowing pets.
Watch this space.

moneymanager

13:50 PM, 25th June 2022, About 2 months ago

This topic, from the demands of "tenant groups", government response, and practical consequences thereof are wholly emblematic of the widespread domination of life by idealogues rather than those of principle, it might sound a bit "off the wall", but it is wholly in line with the process of the demolition of a state by progressivly destabilising it as written by Christopher Story in 1992 in his "The European Collective - Enemy of its Member States", partially based on the disclosures by the Soviet KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov who received a cold reception from the FBi, obviously, the subversion had already taken root. Story of course wasn't the first to perceive this, the installation of a single power of extreme capitalism/communism is a very long game, heralds from the early 20th century are some of the most vilified today.

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