Highlight: May 7, 2024

Pets in a Rental Property: A Landlord’s Guide

Did you know that 76% of private renters currently own, or aspire to own, a pet?

And yet, just 7% of private Landlords listed their properties as allowing animals in 2021, meaning pet-friendly properties are in high demand.

As a Landlord, you might have already considered allowing pets in your rental property. The benefits can make it extremely worthwhile, but a pet-friendly policy comes with considerations…

What’s the Appeal of Pet-Friendly Rentals?

Pet owners often struggle to find suitable housing, so when you offer a pet-friendly option, you become more appealing to pet owners.

Not only that, but allowing pets can lead to longer tenancies. Because of the limited options for pet-friendly rentals, once pet owners find a welcoming space for their four-legged friends they tend to stay in a rental property for longer than non-pet owners.

Know the Rules

In the UK, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 put a stop to blanket pet bans, giving Tenants the right to ask for permission to bring their pets with them.

Whether you choose to welcome pets or not, it’s essential you first know if your property is suitable for pets. Check local regulations and any building rules that might impact your pet-friendly offering.

Be Upfront

Clearly state whether you welcome pets, any size or breed restrictions, and any additional pet-related fees.

By being upfront about your pet policy in your property listings and advertisements, you can attract more of the type of Tenants with pets you’re looking for.

Pet References

Just like you screen your Tenants, consider screening their pets too.

Ask for pet references from previous Landlords to better understand the pet’s behaviour and suitability for your rental property.

Getting the Property Pet-Ready:

Consider any changes you may need to make to your property and keep both pets and Tenants happy. Obviously it’ll depend on the pet, but you may want to remove valuable furnishings, provide scratch-resistant surfaces, or offer a designated pet-friendly area.

Encourage Tenants to have pet liability insurance, which can provide coverage in case of any pet-related incidents or accidents to the property.

Pet Rent

While you have the right to charge a slightly higher rent for pets to cover additional wear and tear, it’s important to be fair and reasonable.

Pet-Ready Lease Agreement

Update your lease agreement to include a pet-friendly clause that outlines the pet-related rules and responsibilities.

Cover topics like pet deposits, cleaning responsibilities, and any other pet-related expectations. This sets clear boundaries for both parties and helps avoid issues further down the line.

Better Relationships

Show your appreciation for your Tenants’ responsible pet ownership and be responsive to any of their concerns. A pet-friendly property can go a long way in ensuring a long-lasting tenancy with happy Tenants (and pets!).

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This article is a guide, and not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice, or as a substitute for it. August does not accept any liability for any errors, omissions or misstatements contained in this article. Always speak to a suitably qualified professional if you require specific advice or information.

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