43% of tenants have pets – so where’s the protection for landlords?

by Mark Alexander

16:06 PM, 15th October 2014
About 4 years ago

43% of tenants have pets – so where’s the protection for landlords?

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43% of tenants have pets – so where’s the protection for landlords?

Pet Damage Insurance

Just suppose that taking tenants with pets was an insurable risk!

Would pet owners pay for the policy?

I met with our insurance partners yesterday and discussed the dilemma’s that many landlords have over whether to accept tenants with pets or not.

We reckon that if demand is high enough we persuade a major insurer to create a policy which would pay for  damage caused by tenants pets directly to landlords.

A worthwhile policy probably wouldn’t be cheap, our best guess at this stage is around £180 a year , but if tenants were given the choice to pay for it (annually up-front of course) before taking on the tenancy ………. ???

By advertising that you are a pet friendly landlord the statistics suggest you could almost double the number of enquiries from renters next time you advertise your property. If your prospective tenants refuse to buy a policy then your decision on whether to rent to them would be much easier to make and to justify!

I am inviting landlords and tenants to post comments below this article and also to re-tweet my Tweets which can be found below the expression of interest form.

At this stage we are merely attempting to establish demand for such an insurance policy.  If you are a landlord and this is something you would be open minded enough to support “in principle” please complete the form below which doesn’t commit you to anything. To make it worth your while, we will arrange for our current insurance partners to call you to explain how we can GUARANTEE to reduce your landlords insurance premiums, but not until you are close to your next renewal date for obvious reasons.

Expression of Interest Form- Tenants Pet Damage Insurance

  • Please select from the list above (click on the arrow to the right of the box)

 



Comments

Peter & Di Cole

16:41 PM, 15th October 2014
About 4 years ago

We do rent out our properties to tenants with pets and always have done. I believe it helps us rent them out more quickly and also helps us to keep tenants longer term as they realise they are lucky to be renting a property that accepts their pets. If the pets do any damage we take it out of the tenants deposits though so not sure if there is a definite need for this sort of insurance? But I am certainly interested and will read further comments with interest 🙂

Mark Alexander

16:52 PM, 15th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Peter & Di Cole" at "15/10/2014 - 16:41":

I also let my properties to tenants with pets, and I totally agree with all the reasons you've given, but it would appear from adverts on Rightmove and Zoopla that most landlords don't in the same way we do 🙁

Take a look at the discussion linked below, especially page 5!

http://www.property118.com/debate-landlady-right-pet/69078/comment-page-5/#comments
.

Peter & Di Cole

17:20 PM, 15th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Wow, just read page 5 - I think we have just been incredibly lucky with our tenants' pets SO far - I guess we had better not get too complacent though..... The only trouble we have had lately is complaints from neighbours about mis-behaved children in one of our properties! (Apart from fridges/dishwashers breaking down and leaking roof-lights, but that's another story, lol!)

Mark Alexander

17:31 PM, 15th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Seems I've started a bit of a Social Media trend with this discussion, 7 re-tweets and 2 Facebook shares within a few minutes 🙂

Thanks for sharing on Facebook Di, first response on Twitter is positive too - see below

Carol Thomas

7:39 AM, 16th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Brilliant idea! Yet another good one from Mark and co! I have had a very bad experience with pets - I allowed a tenant to have two of the tiniest dogs I have ever seen (added together they wouldn't make a decent sized cat!). I didn't even think about an extra deposit as they were immaculate tenants. Mug that I was then, I even gave them their deposit back the day they left! Imagine my horror to find that the immaculate looking carpets were damp in places. When we lifted them there were urine stains over 95% of the carpets! even on the stairs! Cost us a pretty penny to replace them too. Lesson learned? Nope, I've gone and done it again as I am a softie regarding dogs and cats. This idea would be brilliant - £15 a month to keep a pet - that's not even three packets of cigs!
I await the results of this survey and hope very much that it will become a great product to protect us.

Neil Woodhead

9:50 AM, 16th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Many Landlord Insurance policies do not cover damage caused by pets which can be very serious if a dog, for example, knocks something over and causes a fire. We take an additional deposit per pet and insist the tenant takes out a Pet Policy which includes third party liability to cover damage to Landlords property. We also delay release of pet deposit for 6-8 weeks to ensure no infestation of flees etc

Mark Alexander

10:21 AM, 16th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Woodhead" at "16/10/2014 - 09:50":

Hi Neil

Wouldn't deferring release of a deposit for 6 to 8 weeks be in breach of deposit protection legislation and scheme rules?

The reason I'm looking into stand along damage liability policies, as opposed to standard pet insurance, is that medical insurance for pets isn't always economical. For example, my dogs are rare breeds and pet insurance would be a whopping £80 pcm each!

If a fire caused by a pet isn't insured, an extra months deposit wouldn't make a dent in the cost of rebuilding a fire gutted house.
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Neil Woodhead

16:48 PM, 16th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "16/10/2014 - 10:21":

We have our consent to pets include an additional deposit with those terms. Had no issues to date and we have agreed repayment on this basis. However it has not been challenged!!

Mark Alexander

17:10 PM, 16th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Woodhead" at "16/10/2014 - 16:48":

Thanks for the reply Neil but it doesn't answer my question, nor does it respond to my observations.
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Michael Barnes

20:44 PM, 16th October 2014
About 4 years ago

My current thinking is to take an additional deposit to cover the cost of replacing all carpets if tenants want to keep cats or dogs; additional damage to come out of standard deposit. I let only unfurnished property.

If there were a policy that tenants could take out, then they would have the option of paying the additional deposit or paying the annual premium.

My general policy is that carpets would need replacing and decorations replaced every 5 years, so tenants would likely get all their additional deposit back if they are long-term and the carpets are pet-damaged. However chewed woodwork or door jambs used as scratching posts and similar damage would be chargeable.

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