Okay, you’re not likely to be letting solely to pets – but plenty of landlords let to tenants who own pets! Unfortunately, pets can be a real problem for landlords, especially if you’ve signed an agreement that forbids your tenants from having pets in the property anyway. What can you do to make sure your tenants are sticking to the rules?
When your tenants move in, it’s a very good idea to be upfront and ask whether they do have any pets they’ll be bringing along. Smaller, caged animals like hamsters or gerbils are usually fine but you might object to a dog or cat. It’s perfectly acceptable to stick to your guns if you don’t want pets in your property but beware that you stand to potentially lose a few tenants.
Signs of Pets in Your Property
If your tenants do own pets then you’re likely to see some very obvious signs – chewed up carpets, damaged lawns and claw marks in surfaces and furniture. Many people are, also, allergic to pets without really knowing it. If this is you, just walking in the door to a property where pets have been living will tell you there are animals inside. If you suspect your owners have had pets then be upfront – knock on the door and have a look around.
Damages from Pets
If your tenants are in breach of contract and their pets have caused damages you are more than entitled to take the cost of repairs from their deposits. Furniture and, in particular, leather sofas, are easy targets for dog paws and cat claws so you have every right to ask for the costs. Even if you have agreed that pets are allowed in the property, the owners are still responsible for any damages they might cause. Make sure you’ve got a good landlord insurance policy to cover you.
Everyone has a different view on animals but when you’re a landlord you need to think about your tenants, yourself and also your future tenants – will damages put people off your property in the future? Think through the rules that are right for your property and don’t let people deviate from them without good cause!