Pets are not a landlord’s best friend

Pets are not a landlord’s best friend

15:20 PM, 3rd May 2012, About 12 years ago 6

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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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Graham Newman

8:20 AM, 4th May 2012, About 12 years ago

A really good article but how does one deal with a situation where a tenant has moved a pet in without consent - can a landlord evict them?

14:27 PM, 4th May 2012, About 12 years ago

I nearly lost a property due to the excessive damage caused by tenants pets. My AST stated no pets, however, the managing agent had given permission for one dog without my permission. The number of dogs,cats and rabbits increased over a period of two years without my knowledge as I live in Manchester and the property being in Southampton. On a periodic visit to the property I was shocked by the number of pets in the property and the damage caused to the property. On questioning my agent an ARLA registeded national chain charging 15% I found out that the inspector was afraid to visit the property, due to the large fierce dogs that roamed uncontrolled. On giving the tenants notice to leave, they refused and held off for a few months not paying the rent. They were aware that no landlord would give them a tenancy with their pets. The agent held one months deposit which was totally inadequate, to replace unpaid rent and damage. Eventually the tenants left, leaving my property in a shocking condition and even had the cheek to ask the agent for a return of their deposit.
Since this experience I firmly refuse pets of any kind in all my rented properties. 

8:58 AM, 9th September 2012, About 11 years ago

What about good tenants with pets . Your judging on a few bad experiences when actualy they is money to be made. The renting pet market is a big one because people now can't afford to buy thier own homes so renting is the cheaper option . Now I have seen children do just as much damage as pets, what are you going to do ? Tell families they can rent but not with thier kids. Course you wouldn't . Now when you take you pet away on Holliday you pay a damages deposit , never yet have I come across the problems you mention with my dog and cat .

Mary Latham

14:08 PM, 9th September 2012, About 11 years ago

I always say "no pets" when I am advertising a property but I have taken two tenants who have pets because I take a view case by case. A family, where children are in schoo,l are usually long term tenants and many families have pets.At the moment I have two familes with pets and both have been with me for a long time and I hope will stay with me for a much longer because they pay their rent, take care of the property and keep their pets under control. I would not want a zoo in one of my properties but, where I am offering unfurnished, I will accept a famiilies beloved pet and take the hit on any damage because it stacks up with a long let.

15:10 PM, 9th September 2012, About 11 years ago

It is not possible to take an increased deposit for pets.
I take 2 months rent as deposit.
If I took extra deposit for a pet I would cause myself all sorts of problems as far as the tenancy agreeement is concerned; premium tenancies and all that.
Even if I took the money as say aditional rent it would still be part of the deposit even if it wasn't recorded on the DPC.
Perhaps an amount would be 'gifted' to the LL and receipted as such.
This would cover any damage.
If the there was no damage and the LL refused to return those monies to the leaving tenant then the tenant could do nothing about it.
An honourable LL dealing with an honourable tenant should have no issues in resolving the matter of 'gifted' monies if the tenant has complied as far a the LL is concerned with ALL the terms of the tenancy and there has been no damage from the effects of those pets; or satisfactory repairs or replacements have been carried out.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

4:45 AM, 10th September 2012, About 11 years ago

This particular article must have sneaked in under the radar when we employed a larger news team and possibly I would have been on holiday too, otherwise I would have commented on it. @PetsUnited - please note that I am the founder of Property118 and I'm very much an advocate of accepting pets subject to 'due diligence' - please see >>>

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