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

by Mark Alexander

16:06 PM, 15th October 2014
About 6 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.

 

Comments

Michael Barnes

20:49 PM, 16th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Such insurance would need to have the LL included in some form so that the LL is informed if the insurance is cancelled.

A monthly payment plan would also be useful for those on lower incomes.

Mark Alexander

21:01 PM, 16th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "16/10/2014 - 20:49":

Yes I agree, the landlord would need to be named on the policy in much the same way as lenders are named on landlords buildings insurance policies.

I'm not keen on the idea of monthly payments because once a tenant has keys it is very complicated to get them out if they don't pay the monthly insurance premiums.
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Carol Thomas

22:01 PM, 16th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Mark, I filled out your form and to my surprise I was approached for Property Insurance. I thought the idea was to develop Pet Insurance for landlords? I already have property insurance with another one of your recommended insurers. Could you clarify this for me please.

Mark Alexander

22:18 PM, 16th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "CaZ " at "16/10/2014 - 22:01":

Hi CaZ

We have two insurance partners, CIA and Discount. Part of our promise within the article is to get them to call you to GUARANTEE to save you money. If we've already done that its a bit embarrassing and I will look into it. Thanks for letting me know.
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Michael Barnes

23:06 PM, 16th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "16/10/2014 - 21:01":

If no monthly payments (I can see your point), then it would need to be easily moved to a new property when the tenant moves (either with the same LL or to a new LL)

Mark Alexander

11:16 AM, 17th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "16/10/2014 - 23:06":

I have a few thoughts on this.

My favourite so far is a single premium which is valid for the life of a tenancy (not transferable). For a tenants protection a Deed of Assurance could be offered too - see >>> http://www.property118.com/deed-of-assurance-1/32440/ The only problem with this is that letting agents might not like it because it reduces there opportunities to make money from tenancy renewals, PLUS of course they make more money on referencing fees etc. from tenant churn.

However, such an arrangement would be great for both landlords and tenants in that both sides would have greater protection 🙂
.
.

DC

12:15 PM, 17th October 2014
About 6 years ago

So what happens at the end of a 12 month tenancy agreement when the insurance also falls due but the tenant has opted to go onto a periodic tenancy but refuses to renew the insurance? Would you serve them with a sec 21 notice?

There are other reasons beyond damage that stop landlords renting to pet owners. i.e. Would the policy cover compensation claims from neighbours who complain about dogs constantly howling when the owner is out etc?

I recently had an application to rent one of my properties from someone that owned a medium sized dog that they said would be kept inside a cage within the house whilst they were out at work. I also know people that do this and to me it is cruel and was a very good reason to refuse the application and any future dog owning applicants.

Mark Alexander

12:19 PM, 17th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "DC " at "17/10/2014 - 12:15":

See my comment above "My favourite so far is a single premium which is valid for the life of a tenancy"

In other words, make it a lifetime warranty, i.e. the insurance covber lasts for as long as the tenant remains in occupation of the property covered.
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Neil Woodhead

12:23 PM, 17th October 2014
About 6 years ago

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

Hi Mark If you are in a Custodial Scheme you are not in breach because if the tenant changes their mind we would simply raise an objection to the full release based on our agreement. To date we have not had a problem so cannot confirm whether an adjudicator would agree or otherwise.

I agree that a single policy for pets is preferable and a number of insurers are looking at this but in the interim policies are available with damage to property included in them. It is not the Landlords problem if a tenant has a rare breed and feels it is not necessary to take out any insurance. My comments are based on, in the first instance, that insurance is in place and all they need is to change provider.

Ian Ringrose

12:25 PM, 17th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Will have to be a one of payment that covers me however long the tenant remains, as how can I trust a tenant to keep up an insurance payment?

Also what if the tenants get a new pet, I see this as a real risk of taking tenants with pets, just because the old dog is no problem, does not stop them getting pappy when it dies.

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