Lets with pets: What landlords and tenants need to know

As a nation of animal lovers with 12 million households owning a pet*, it will come as no surprise that many tenants own a cat or dog. 

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Tenants are often frustrated by the lack of pet-accepting rental properties, while the dilemma for many landlords is whether to accept a pet-owning tenant, as a furry friend is often linked to extra wear and tear.

As a sad byproduct, there is a continued problem of pets needing to be rehomed when tenancy agreements state ‘no pets’. With the growing demand for rental properties however and plenty of pet owners needing rental accommodation, landlords can secure loyal tenants by accepting pet owners into their properties.

At Kay & Co, Central London estate agents, specialising in houses and flats to rent in W1 and W2, we have put together a guide for landlords and tenants, advising both parties of the best ways to create a successful ‘lets with pets’ agreement.

Landlords’ guide:
By accepting pet owners, you are instantly increasing your audience of prospective tenants. It may also lead to a longer tenancy, as tenants with pets will be thankful for an accommodating landlord and pet-free residents thinking of getting a cat or dog won’t have to move out. This avoids disruption and sidesteps potential void periods. It is important however to take the following steps:

Ensure that a pet friendly clause is added into a tenancy agreement.

  • Contact your insurance company to add accidental pet damage.
  • Ensure that any additional deposit taken for the pet is held in an approved tenancy deposit protection scheme.
  • Advertise your property as ‘pets considered’ so you can make the decision on accepting pets on a case-by-case basis.
  • Ask for a pet reference from a previous landlord - it might be worth visiting the prospective tenant and pet in their current home.

 

Tenants’ guide:

  • It’s worth considering the following to ensure that you find a suitable property for you and your pet, and get the tenancy off to a good start.
  • Don’t leave house hunting to the last minute, searching 6-8 weeks before you need to move is recommended.
  • Be flexible on your location and property type.
  • Write a CV for your pet (yes, really) and, if possible, ask your previous landlord to write a reference for your pet. The CV needs to have details on such as the veterinary practice you use, their last vaccinations, who could look after your pet in an emergency and any training your pet has undertaken.
  • Introduce your pet to your landlord: you could invite your landlord to your current home.
  • Offer to pay a higher deposit.
  • Offer to have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy.
  • Be honest and always tell a landlord about any pets you have or are planning.
  • Ensure any ‘no pet’ clauses are removed from the tenancy agreement and a ‘pets welcome’ clause added.

 

If you are looking for a pet-friendly property to rent in Central London, or are a landlord considering tenants with pets, please contact Kay & Co or visit one of our offices - you won’t be barking up the wrong tree! All our offices welcome pets, so drop in today for advice; we’d be delighted to meet you and your companion.

*Source Dogs Trust

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