Tenant has pets without the landlords permission

by Readers Question

10:28 AM, 4th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Tenant has pets without the landlords permission

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Tenant has pets without the landlords permission

Tenant has pets without my permissionCan any readers provide any advice on what to do when a tenant has pets without the landlords permission please?

Scenario: my new tenant moved in just over two months ago along with a ferrett, two cats and a dog. I was not aware that the tenant had pets, I would have said no and would certainly not have granted permission.

We only found this out when we visited the property at the tenants request to fix problems with the kitchen taps.

We immrediately informed the letting agents about the pets and they admitted that they had no idea that the tenant had pets and had no notification from the tenants that they would be bringing pets either. The tenancy agreements specifies no pets.

The letting agents then sent the tenants a letter (we had to ask for a copy) informing them they were made aware of pets in the house and that they will be liable for any damage deductable from their security deposit.

After a long debate as to whether to serve a section 8 notice on the tenant or wait until tenancy renewal is due to give them notice to leave we have decided to ask the agent for a £150 top up security deposit

The agent has not responded.

We would appreciate comments or advise from with ways forward?

Thanks

Russell



Comments

Mark Alexander

15:09 PM, 4th December 2012
About 6 years ago

It's very poor service that your agents has not responded Russell. If I were you I would write to the agent and give them 7 days to respond to your previous letter and rectify the issue to your entire satisfaction, failing which you will consider them to be in breach of contract and will go to their office to collect all papers and either manage your property yourself or appoint another agent.

Once this is done you need to decide whether to manage the property yourself. Only do this if you are confident that you know everything you need to know about the lettings business. Either way, I suggest you contact your tenant directly (preferably by telephone) and arrange to see them in say 10 days time.

Take a bottle of wine with you and make sure the meeting is non-confrontational. They may be prepared for an argument so your mission is to diffuse that very quickly. You will usually be a lot more successful if you can have a grown up face to face discussion than resorting to written communication, especially via a disinterested agent.

When you meet the people and their pets you might be pleasantly surprised. Several of my trenants have pets, I like them to have them as they tend to stay longer as landlords who do accept pets are generally harder to find.

Please take a look at this article >>> http://www.property118.com/?p=30043

Good luck and please let us know how you get on.

Regards

Mark

3:00 AM, 5th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Before denigrating the agents, it may well be that they have written to the tenants as you have suggested but have yet to have a reply. I'm sure a quick phone call to qualify the facts would be preferable. I would also query whether they are in breach of contract - I have not seen their contract.
As to the pets, normally pet owners are responsible and as Mark said can be longer term tenants purely because not all landlords will accept pets. Alarm bells ring when the pets have been moved in without permission. By accepting the pets now, you are accepting that there could be more wear and tear. The extra pet deposit does not stack up. If you accept pets you accept there could be more wear and tear - a colleague of mine has had this thrown at him in court. Normally I would say OK to the pet situation but here I am wary. You also need to speak to your agents. This is where they can show their worth. Something has happened beyond their control. Give them the chance to sort it out but do not wind up the situation with letters - speak to the boss - I just hope you are not with a corporate agent.

Fiona Macaskill

8:24 AM, 5th December 2012
About 6 years ago

I have only had one ferrett in one of my houses: never again! The tenant asked if they could keep a 'caged pet'. Stupidly I did not think to ask what sort of animal it was and said yes, provided it was not allowed out of the cage. When she left the smell was so bad we had to change the carpet & underlay + curtains. We also had to put two layers of paint on everything and wash all other surfaces several times. Even then the lingering smell of ferrett could be detected - BEWARE!

10:03 AM, 5th December 2012
About 6 years ago

We do accept pets provided they are officially detailed on the tenancy at the time of moving in. Never had the misfortune of ferrets tho'. Our tenancy document covers us even if they have pets at a later date,and on leaving they must have the place professionally cleaned, and a portion of the deposit (detailed in tenancy) is withheld for 3 months in case of infestation.

We have found all so far to be perfect when pets have been allowed. So many tenancies don't allow pets, which is why the tenants may not have made it known as they didn't want to lose the house. I am not sure you can just ask for extra deposit now. Have you been to the house to check the condition as you are entitled to do as landlord? If it is suffering due to the pets they keep it is more than fair wear and tear and you can retain much of the deposit. Hope this helps a bit.

Personally I mange our properties myself as agents generally aren't worth the money they are paid to do the job.The last one we used ( a national company) ended up paying us compensation rather than the other way round as they were so inept (FORGOT to do inventory we paid for, never checked tenant in or out etc etc)

matchmade

13:14 PM, 5th December 2012
About 6 years ago

I'm afraid I have had bad experiences with tenants introducing pets: I foolishly once allowed a teannt to keep a stray cat - never again. In an HMO, cats can cause breathing dificulties for other tenants; they also spread faeces, scratch your woodwork and sofas, leave hair everywhere matted into the carpets - the list is endless. In my view it's not good enough to say the tenant is liable for any damage - besides the direct financial cost of replacement which can be charged to a deposit, there is the huge hassle factor and possible extra void periods when replacing furniture and even carpets, pets leave noticeable smells as well as scratches which are very difficult to eradicate, and so on.
I would also be very cross that the tenant introduced a pet without asking: I would get rid of both agent and tenant in this situation.

15:18 PM, 5th December 2012
About 6 years ago

It's concerning that most of the comments left in reposne to your post don't actually attempt to address the issues that you have raised and seem to go on about the (non) virtues of tenants with pets or actually "blame" the agent.
It is never ideal when a scenario such as this raises it's head but an over - reaction could lead to a falling out, a costly void and possibly worse. I would recommend that you do not blame your agent for this and instead work with them in their attempts to get the tenants to pay an additional amount towards the bond. If the tenants refuse to do so then you may wish to serve them a Sec 21 and seek posession of the property at the end of their tenancy but unless I am missing something there are no grounds for serving a Sec 8 notice. If the tenants are reasonable people then they may well pay the additional amount (which is not unreasonable of you to ask for) but their reaction will be a good indicator of whether or not you may wish them to stay.
Some tenants "forget" to tell agents or landlords about pet's. This is far from ideal for a number of reasons but I always recommend that landlords should "invest in the people rather than the pet unless it is perfectly obvious that the pet is preferable!

16:36 PM, 5th December 2012
About 6 years ago

well said

12:29 PM, 9th December 2012
About 6 years ago

I had the same problem. The agent went round to do an inspection, after the tenant had renewed the 12 month tenancy agreement, and found that he had two dogs without permission. The tenancy agreement had specified no pets but has he had been a "good tenant", we requested an additional deposit for additional damage that may be caused by the animals. He refused to pay the additional deposit, so we served the section 21. Of course he had almost 12 months before he left the property. I agree with other contributors about the smell. I had to spend about £3000, getting new flooring and painting the house, just to get rid of the doggy smell. Also spent a day getting rid of the doggy mess in the garden.

9:31 AM, 17th April 2013
About 6 years ago

anyone familiar with this: our agents are too happy to wash their hands off and side with the tenant as we objected to tenants moving in (we found out by chance going in do a repair a month after they moved in) with a ferret, two cats and a dog. After 4 months of chasing for a top up deposit, we finally decided to give them notice to vacate, only to find the house in a filthy, smelly carpet, wall paper ruined and the list goes on..To put all these issues right before the house is habitable again for the next new tenant would cost us 700 to 900 pounds. Agent end of tenancy final inspection was "house was clean and tidy, no alteration to the house"... and could they return the deposit!! The agent wishes us all the best for the future and to let them know when our new agent would be collecting the keys and essential documents. Any comments or advice would be much appreciated.. thank you...


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