Pet-Loving Tenants Dogged by Ban on Animals

by Property118.com News Team

8:30 AM, 23rd September 2011
About 10 years ago

Pet-Loving Tenants Dogged by Ban on Animals

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Pet-Loving Tenants Dogged by Ban on Animals

"Pets are being abandoned by buy to lets"

Pets are a casualty of the buy to let boom as tenants are forced to make a choice between keeping their animals or losing their rented homes.

Strict landlords are banning pets – and animal sanctuaries are reporting a rise in abandoned cats and dogs as a result. A study has revealed 17 per cent of tenants have had their applications to move in to rented property turned down because the landlord refused to let them keep a pet.

The research by property portal Findaproperty.com also highlighted two per cent of tenants were evicted because of landlords’ no pet policies and another five percent lost their deposits due to damage caused to letting property by their animals.

A number of defiant tenants (13 per cent) said they would risk eviction and keep their pets regardless of their legally-binding tenancy agreement saying they could not.

Samantha Baden, a Findaproperty.com analyst, said: “We are a nation of pet lovers and fast becoming a nation of renters, but these two obsessions can sometimes clash making things more challenging when finding a new home to rent.

“In a highly competitive rental market, landlords have the luxury of being able to pick and choose their tenants and for some pet owners this can cause problems, particularly if they’ve failed to tell the landlord that they have an animal.

“It’s always best to discuss your pets up front with your prospective landlord – you never know – the owner might just be an animal lover themselves.”

One animal charity experiencing an influx of pets from tenants is Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Liz McWalter of the Battersea home said: “The boom in renting has seen an increasing number of animals coming in to our care because of bans on keeping pets.

“Battersea is increasingly concerned that many tenancy agreements are overly prohibitive about keeping pets in rented properties.

“We want to see tenancy agreements making greater allowances for keeping pets so tenants do not have to make tough choices about their animals.”

The home has taken in 141 dogs and cats this year because their owners faced eviction from their rented properties.

Comments

john lown

12:40 PM, 3rd October 2011
About 10 years ago

Dear Sir,
We have had and currently several tenants with pets.

The type of person and the type of pet need to be assessed carefully, and a suitable deposit take to cover pet damage. Periodic inspections are also important. Any damage above normal wear and tear will be apparent.

We have only had on family with pet that caused us difficulties. They were a professional couple with 3 children, both working long hours, and granny child minding. We acepted 1 Labrador at the outset, hovwever other pets arrived, cat, Guinea Pig, Rabbit and a small dragon in a glass enclosure.

Damage was done to the house, dog scratches at doors, cat climbing up curtains.etc. When the tenants lefrt we asked for damage to be repaired out of the deposit (as per the terms of the AST agreement). They took us to Small Claims Court for the return of their deposit. We won the deposit back but the damage was greater than the deposit. We did not achieve more as they had no assets or earnings to cover the difference. It also took an unpleasnat 7 months to resolve.

Suggestions- Check references (our prifessional couple lied) - Take a larger deposit- Meet prospective tenants and pet yourself.
Not fool proof. but may help.
Yours sincerely,
John Lown.

Mark Alexander

12:48 PM, 3rd October 2011
About 10 years ago

Dear Lord Lown

Thank you for taking time to comment and share your insight.

Only last evening I produced a text and video based blog along very similar lines to the points you have raised. The link, if you would like to take a look, is http://www.property118.com/index.php/tenants-from-hell-and-how-to-avoid-them/18405/

Yours sincerely

Mark Alexander

chris howells

19:56 PM, 8th October 2011
About 10 years ago

i LET TO TENANTS WITH 2 LARGE DOGS i AM A DOG LOVER AND WOULD NEVER EXCLUDE PETS I THINK THIS IS UNFAIR. WHEN THE TENANTS LEFT , APART FROM DAMAGE TO THE DRAIN WHCH I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT IE BALL DOWN IT THE ONLY THING THEY WERE ASKED TO PAY FOR WAS TO CLEAN THE CARPETS FOR THE DOG SMELL , WHICH WAS QUITE HEAVY WITH 2 LARGE LABRADORSI DO NOT THINK THIS WAS UNREASONABLE BUT THEY DID . hOWEVER. THEY DID PAY

9:43 AM, 12th October 2011
About 10 years ago

It's an interesting discussion. We are talking about private individuals running their properties as a business. How is their freedom of choice 'overly prohibitive'? It does not reflect on whether or not they are animal lovers. They are surely only protecting their investment? I have friends in properties where they pay rent annually in advance and are not even allowed to put a picture on the wall to make it feel like a home for their families. It is accepted as the landlord's choice as a private owner in a competitive marketplace and they are grateful to have found a property which they can consider as a longer term home. I also have a friend whose tenants left what was an immaculate property ruined with the stink of cat pee in most rooms. It was an option to attempt to retrieve the cost to refurbish but the money still had to be found somehow to get the work done in order to avoid a rental void. It is a misconception that all landlords can pull spare cash out of the air for unplanned work.
As an aside I have a son who is severely allergic to cat dander. At a point 2 years ago when I was between houses I had to consider the private rental sector. I had a horror of moving into a house where carpets would cause illness in my child. Fortunately I found a property to buy just in time and was able to rip out all the carpets and curtains on day one. I for one would welcome a landlord who had kept to a no pets policy. And that doesn't reflect upon my love of animals either!

17:12 PM, 18th November 2011
About 10 years ago

I read with interest the comments above, we rent out a property and the current tenants have a dog, we charged them a slightly higher rate of deposit and also in the STA we also stipulated the carpets needed to be professionally cleaned at their expense at the end of the term, all going well so far.....we also however are tenants with 3 Children and a lab! our last property the landlord tried to claim a ridiculous amount of damage some apparently made by our Dog, he harassed us and even started contacting my company he even got another tennent to right a report on our property and out his own address on it!!!, he didn't hold our deposit in any DPS scheme and also didn't have an inventory, its a shame but it got to the point of having to take him to court to get our deposit back, the judge saw straight through him and out of the thousands he was trying to claim got just under £150!!!....motto of the story try and rent a property through an Agent and be wary of a landlord who will not do an inventory!

Mary Latham

21:41 PM, 18th November 2011
About 10 years ago

At the Landlords Show at the NEC this week there was an exhibitor DOGS TRUST -
LETS WITH PETS. This is their write up on the show guide
020 7837 0006
http://www.letswithpets.org.uk
Dogs Trust’s Lets with Pets campaign
aims to make the process of privately
renting with pets easier for tenants while
highlighting the potential benefits of
pet-owning tenants to landlords and
letting agencies. After all, 47% of the UK
population currently owns a pet!

They were giving landlords leaflets to help them to cover their backs when taking tenants with pets. There was some very interesting information in the leaflet and advice about getting a pet "reference" from a previous landlord.
It made me stop and think.

People all over the country own pets, their homes are not usually damaged by their pets because, just like children, they are trained to behave themselves. Tenants with pets usually find it more difficult to find a rented property and therefore are more likely to stay in a property longer.

I prefer not to have pets but I have taken several tenants over the years who have pets and I have never had a problem when they moved out. The only tenants that I will not allow to keep pets are students because I do not believe that the lifestyle in the average student house is suitable for pets and I know many landlords who have adopted cats after they have been abandoned by students at the end of the tenancy.

I make my decisions on each tenant on a case by case basis and if I get a good feeling about the person and their pets I accept them.

The worse damage that I have ever had in a property was caused by two adults in their
50's both of whom were smartly dressed professional people and they left me a bomb site!!! Doors off hinges, broken shower screen, blood on the walls, filthy kitchen, broken ceramic hob, burns on the carpets and the smell of a pub the morning after. Give me a few dog scratches every time.


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