We are a nation of animal lovers, with nearly half of UK households owning a pet of some kind. Because of this affinity with our furry friends, the issue of renters wanting to keep an animal rears its head on a regular basis. There are a number of reasons why landlords might object, but also some compelling arguments for allowing it. Take a look at the pros and cons of letting tenants have pets.
PRO: Wider Pool of Applicants
If a landlord allows pets in their property, they greatly increase the number of potential tenants. A combination of so many pet owners and so few landlords willing to allow animals in their houses means any that do are in great demand. In a competitive market, this is a way to gain a definite edge.
PRO: Keep Your Tenants Happy
A happy tenant also tends to look after a property better , as they respond to the respect the landlord bestows on them. If they have their beloved cat, dog or rabbit with them, the property seems more homely, which in turn means they care more about the bricks and mortar.
PRO: Longer Occupancy
It is important to foster a positive relationship between landlord and tenant. If both parties are pleased with the arrangement, the tenant is likely to stay for longer, ensuring the property is occupied. The landlord can enjoy greater peace of mind, knowing that they do not need to start hunting for new renters any time soon.
PRO: Larger Rental Income
Letting tenants have pets is a legitimate reason for increasing the property’s basic monthly rent. To overcome the potential cons of allowing renters to keep animals (more of that to come), most tenants accept that they must pay a premium. If there are no issues, then the landlord is better off for accepting dogs and cats.
PRO: You Know Exactly Where You Are
When landlords and tenants agree on pets living in a property, everyone knows what to expect. If a landlord explicitly bans animals, there is always the risk that a tenant may keep one illicitly.
At least with an official agreement in place, the landlord can set their expectations based on the full facts without worrying about nasty surprises later on.
CON: Damage to the Property
The main issue with letting tenants have pets is the damage that they can cause. Whether it is scratching at skirting boards, wearing down carpets or crashing into fittings, some animals can cause havoc.
CON: Pet Odours
With a house animal comes a certain aroma. If a pet lives in a property for an amount of time, it can be difficult to remove the odour. This could make it difficult to rent the house or flat to a non-pet owner.
CON: Upsetting Neighbours
Even though a pet keeps its owners happy, it might not be the same story for their neighbours. Late night howling, digging up their garden or licking their children are all ways in which the pet could displease other local residents. Once the tenants have moved out, the landlord still needs to enjoy a cordial relationship with their neighbours.
CON: Allergens in the Carpets
Many people are allergic to pet hair and this can be an issue for those tenants who rent the property after the animal owners. The hair can embed itself deep into the carpet fibres, requiring expensive professional cleaning to make it ready for the next rental.
Letting Tenants Have Pets - What Landlords Can Do
There are many reasons in favour of allowing pets in a rental property, but landlords need to protect themselves if they choose to. Charging more in rent and adding on a pet fee or pet deposit in case of damage or to pay for professional cleaning are just some ways to do this.
Property owners should ensure the tenancy agreement is watertight and covers all aspects and eventualities. One of the many services Executive Property Management Solutions provides is to draw up tenancy agreements based around the landlord’s needs. Find out more about that and our other services on the Make Lettings Easier page.
Contact us today if you have any questions about the property management options we can provide for you.