One of the biggest issues landlords face is whether to accept tenants with pets.
According to a survey conducted by lettingaproperty.com 68% of landlords now accept tenants who have dogs and cats. Lets with Pets was set up by Dogs Trust in 2009, it is a scheme which highlights the benefits of taking on tenants with pets and encouraging landlords to do so, thus making the house hunting process easier for pet owners.
It may sound peculiar but landlords should ask potential tenants to get a reference for the pet from the previous landlord. This reference should include: the length of time the pet lived at the previous property, the type and amount of pets owned at that property, whether or not the tenant is a responsible pet owner, whether the pets were well behaved and was any damage caused to the property? or any aggravation to neighbours?
Landlords can also request that the prospective tenant get a reference from their vet which should include: whether the pet has general good behaviour, whether the tenant is a responsible pet owner and the level of preventive health care the pet receives (if appropriate) e.g. vaccinations, flea treatments.
If they are are still reluctant to accept tenants with pets they may want to ask for a higher deposit. This means that any damage cause by said pets is covered. Landlords commonly ask for two weeks extra rent on top of the normal deposit to compensate for this.
Pet Information Form
If a landlord has decided to accept a tenant with a pet they should get as much information about the pet as possible before they move in. A description and detail of the pets should be recorded alongside emergency contact details in case someone else should need to care for the pet and details of their registered vet and out of hours practice.
The last thing to do is put in place an additional clause in the tenancy agreement which must state the animal type and breed and its name. An example of this clause would be “It is further agreed between the landlord and tenant that the landlord grants permission for the tenant to keep a pet (insert animal type and breed) named (insert animal name) (“The Pet”) in the property for the duration of the tenancy. The tenant agrees not to keep or permit to be kept on the property any further pets or animals of any description without the previous consent in writing of the landlord.”
In conclusion it seems the benefits of accepting tenants and their animals far exceed the negatives. It also allows landlords to reach a wider pool of tenants and will avoid them moving their pets in without consent.