HOUSE TO LET, SORRY NO PETS
Landlords who specifically exclude pet owners from their property, are missing rental opportunities on a huge share of the rental market, bearing in mind that 43% of the UK population, currently own a pet. By considering a pet friendly approach, you can easily increase the demand for your property and attract long term, responsible tenants.
There are very few Letting Agencies that offer rental lists with pet friendly Landlords. Consider the following points and be one of the first pet friendly Landlords, which is a movement, gathering momentum.
- Pets Reference: It is a good idea to request prospective tenants, to provide you with a reference from their previous Landlord. The key point questions include:
- How long did the Tenant live in the previous property, with their pets?
- Which pets did they own at that time?
- Does the referee consider the Tenant to be a responsible pet owner?
- Were the Tenants’ pets, well behaved?
- Did their pets cause any damage to the property?
- Did their pets cause any nuisance, to neighbours or visitors?
If the tenants have not rented with pets before, you could request, for a reference from their Veterinary Surgeon, if possible. The key question points include:
- Are the Tenants’ pets generally well behaved?
- Does the Veterinary Surgeon, consider the Tenant to be a responsible pet owner?
- Does the Tenant provide routine preventative health care, such as vaccinations and flea treatments, for their pets (if appropriate) ?
- Pet Policy: You should include a pet policy clause, in the standard Tenancy Agreement. The clause should refer to a Comprehensive Pet Policy, which can be incorporated as a schedule to the Tenancy Agreement.
An example of a Pet Policy Clause would be: ‘The Tenant agrees, that they will abide by the Pet Policy shown in Schedule 1, attached to this Tenancy Agreement. On signing this Agreement, the Tenant will pay a deposit, to cover any damage caused by their pet to the property or furnishings during the Tenancy.’
- Pet Deposit: Insurance policies, such as Contents Insurance and Landlords Insurance, will not cover any damage caused by pets, to the property or furnishings. So it is essential that you decide in advance, how you wish to deal with any damage that may occur. You may ask your Tenant for a higher deposit, to cover any damage that may be caused by their pets. For example, if you normally ask for the equivalent of 4 weeks’ rent, you could ask for 6 weeks’ rent from pet owners. Alternatively, you may wish to request the pet owning Tenants for a non-refundable pet payment, to cover the cost of professionally cleaning the property, once they have moved out. This would cover the cleaning of carpets, soft furnishings and curtains.
Adopting the above criteria, will help you determine whether the Tenant is a responsible pet owner, after all, responsible pet owners, often make the most responsible Tenants. For more information visit www.letswithpets.org.uk.