Before finding tenants for your property, you will have to decide on a pet policy. The decision on whether to allow your property to be let as pet-friendly is not one to take lightly. Before deciding what the right decision is for you and your property, you will want to weigh-up all of the good and bad. There are both positives and negatives to being a pet-friendly landlord, here are the pros and cons of renting to tenants with pets.
The Pros of Pet-Friendly Letting
There are some positives to allowing pets in your rental property, these include:
- More Prospective Tenants – 45% of the UK population own a pet. This means that if you choose to allow your property to be pet-friendly then you will have a much larger group of prospective tenants to choose from.
- Longer Tenancy – It is hard for pet owners to find a pet-friendly property, so they will usually stay in a rental for longer when they do find a suitable property.
- Pet Owners Typically Make Good Tenants – If someone is responsible and mature enough to take good care of an animal, there is a good chance that they will treat your property with the same respect.
- No Sneaky Pets – Even though it’s never advisable to keep a pet in a rental property without the landlord’s consent, inevitably some tenants do. As a landlord, if you decide to allow pets, it will lower the chances of tenants trying to sneak in pets that are not allowed.
The Cons of Pet-Friendly Letting
In comparison, there are also reasons to not allow pets, some of the most common include:
- Loss of Prospective Tenants – Other prospective tenants may be allergic to dogs or cats and might not be happy to live in a property that has previously housed pets. If you own a multiple occupancy building, then other tenants may move if an animal becomes disruptive.
- Damage to Property – Animals are notorious for scratching and chewing up furniture and fittings. They also will inevitably have “accidents” on the flooring.
- Lingering Pet Odours – The aforementioned accidents can also cause strong lingering odours that are difficult to fully remove from the property.
- Unhappy Neighbours – Barking is the natural behaviour of dogs, but barking dogs can disturb neighbours and persistent barking can become a noise nuisance.
Check Your Leasehold Agreement
If your rental property is in leasehold rather than freehold, you will need to check your lease to make sure that pets are allowed on the property. If they are, then you should be allowed to let to tenants with pets.
Whether or not you decide to allow pets in your property, you should always include a clearly worded pet policy within your tenancy agreement. It should clearly state what you expect in terms of keeping a pet at the property. Then ensure that every tenant signs this, making it clear that if the terms are violated, the tenants are in breach of the tenancy.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
If you decide to have a pet-friendly property, you will also need to check with your insurance provider to find out what type of coverage you have. Make yourself aware of the amount of liability coverage that is included in your insurance policy and ensure that there are no exclusions or limitations that will not be covered.
Most policies typically exclude damage caused by pets. Insurance companies that do fully cover all of the ways that a pet can damage your property usually require you to purchase one of their higher levels of insurance coverage or buy something called “extended accidental damage cover”.
There have also been recent warnings that the five-week deposit cap in the Tenant Fees Act is likely to prompt an increase in rent paid by tenants with pets by 3-4%, meaning that ultimately landlords may be deterred from letting to tenants with pets or forced to charge higher rents to cover any potential losses.
For more advice on Insurance for Landlords call Ashburnham Insurance for FREE ON 0800 1696137.