As a landlord, should you allow a pet in your rental property? Many landlords are against the idea, but research shows there may be more benefits than you realise. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of allowing a pet in your rental property.
Pets in rental properties – the argument against
While landlords are often happy for tenants to keep fish, the majority are opposed to their tenants keeping larger pets such as cats and dogs. Common reasons for this include –
One of the overriding concerns landlords have is the amount of damage an animal can have. Even with the most vigilant of tenants, cats and dogs can get fleas, leave odours, damage furnishings and be a nuisance to neighbours.
Until now, landlords could off-set this risk by taking a pet deposit. However, under the new Tenant Fees Act (which is set to be introduced in England on 1 June 2019) this will no longer be allowed.
Then there is the issue of animal welfare. It may be that the rental property is not actually suitable for a larger animal such as a cat or dog. This is especially true of small properties without any outdoor space.
Finally, leasehold properties may actually prevent residents from keeping pets. This means that even if a landlord agrees with the idea of a tenant having a pet, it might not be permitted under the terms of the lease.
Pets in rental properties – the argument for
Such concerns are understandable. But there are benefits of allowing a pet in a rental property. Some of the arguments for include –
Tenants stay longer
Research has shown that tenants who are given permission to keep a pet in their rental property tend to stay longer. This is often advantageous for landlords, who can avoid the hassle (and associated costs) of finding new tenants.
Tenants look after the property better
The same research suggests that a tenant is more likely to look after the property, partly due to the welfare of the animal, and partly because a higher deposit has been paid. Of course, the latter point is not applicable under the Tenant Fees Act.
Tenants are willing to pay more
One study by property management company LSL also found that 28% of tenants would be willing to pay more for a pet. This means that allowing pets in rental properties could actually be profitable for landlords.
Even though pet deposits have been banned under the new laws in England, landlords are still entitled to take a deposit. When a tenant vacates the property, the cost of any damage caused by a pet can be deducted. Therefore landlords can still off-set any financial risks.
Protecting your assets
So, should pets be allowed in rental properties? As a landlord, it is your job to weigh up the pros and the cons before making a decision.
If you do consent, you may want to enforce certain safeguards to protect your rental property. For instance, you could stipulate in the tenancy agreement that pets are permitted on the understanding that –
- More property inspections will be carried out
- The tenant must rectify any damage caused by their pet before vacating
- Consent can be withdrawn if the pet becomes a problem
Expert legal advice
For expert legal advice on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, please contact us at Breens Solicitors.