Pets are not a landlord’s best friendMake Text Bigger
With former homeowners being forced back into the rental market, The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks has warned landlords to either be prepared for pets or look for the signs of undeclared pets.
Most landlords who do accept pets will increase their deposit, but many landlords won’t rent to tenants with pets at all. Tenants unwilling to part with their pets may well ignore their landlord’s request and bring them into the property with them, and then attempting to hide any potentially expensive resulting damage.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said: “We have seen all kinds of pet damage over the years – some amounting to very expensive repairs. More recently, we have seen a trend of outside pets becoming inside pets – especially rabbits. They can create expensive damage to cables, doors and frames and furniture from chewing. Many tenants will go to great lengths to conceal a pet from an agent or landlord as they are well aware they are breaking the terms of the tenancy agreement.
“Cats seem to cause the most problem in a property because they love sharpening their claws on every surface. A recent check-out concerned a flat with leather sofas. There were deep claw marks and pulls all around the base of both sofas, the back seams had been ripped open and cat hairs were matted under the seat cushions. The furniture was damaged well beyond repair and the tenant did not have permission to have a cat or any other pet in the flat. The result was that the tenant had to pay for two new sofas as they were both almost new at the start of the tenancy just 6 months previously.
“Our advice to landlords and agents is to be vigilant about checking the inside and outside of properties for pet damage.”
They’ve put together a checklist of things to look out for:
- Regular visits to the property – ensure you make regular visits to the property, so that you can check the property over for damage on both the inside and the outside
- Pet Hair/Bird Feathers – check under the sofa cushions (as tenants often forget to vacuum here); linings of curtains, pelmets, curtain tops
- Pet stains – check under mats, tables, beds for pet stains
- Scratches – check furniture, doors and frames, kitchen cupboards for claw scratches
- Carpets – Look out for thread pulls and fluffing on carpets and rugs – especially in door ways
- Cables – check for damage from chewing – a favourite of pet rabbits
- Patches on the lawn – yellowing of the grass is often the sign of a cat or dog
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