It’s a well-known stereotype that the English love their pets, and if you think about how many people you know with one, you can see why.
However, when it comes to animals, landlords are generally less keen, as they can damage properties and even be dangerous if not trained properly.
This doesn’t mean you have to completely ban pets from your properties though, and you may find that by allowing them you could gain more interest from tenants and even make more money.
So before you make your decision, here are four things that you need to keep in mind:
You can be selective
Most landlords are concerned that if they say pets are allowed in their properties, they will have no control over the type and amount of pets their tenants have. However, this is simply not the case.
If you do advertise your property as one that is pet-friendly, then when your potential tenants come to visit, you can ask them about their pets and see if you would be happy to have them in your property. For example, a family with a single cat wouldn’t pose a problem, but someone who breeds them for a living could put you off.
Make sure that you make this clear to tenants when they come to view the property, especially if you are concerned about them adding more to their family in the future.
Use your tenancy agreement
If you do decide to let to tenants that own pets, you should alter your tenancy agreement so that it can protect you should any problems arise.
This is of the utmost importance, as people can be extremely emotional when it comes to their pets and so if you have an issue they can become defensive.
Your tenancy agreement should include clauses discussing the number of pets allowed in your property, what type of pets and also state that your tenants have to clear it with you before they bring any animal into the house.
Your agreement should also include information on what will happen should your tenants break one of these rules, so that they know from the start where they stand.
One of the main reasons landlords don’t like animals in their properties is because they can cause damage and often create more wear and tear.
Cats and dogs often moult, which means that hair can often get all over the property including the carpets, furnishings and curtains.
Animals also have their own odours, which means that if your tenants move out and you want to sell the property on, you will probably have to give it a good clean so that the smell is gone.
This all adds up to you having to spend more time and money on the property, which is why you should make it clear to your tenants that you will need to make inspections on a regular basis and that they will be expected to help cover the costs of cleaning the property, either when they move out or on an annual basis.
Animals such as dogs can be extremely dangerous if they are not trained properly and the Government has even made certain breeds illegal to own, as they are known to attack other animals as well as people.
If you suspect that your tenant has a dangerous pet – whether it’s an illegal breed or not – you need to call the RSPCA or your local authority straight away and tell them your concerns. Not only can dangerous animals harm your property, but they could also end up upsetting those that live near it, which will be bad for your reputation.
If you are concerned about your legal rights when it comes to your tenants’ pets, then you can also call your landlord insurance provider, which will be able to help you, especially if you have created a tenancy agreement with all the rules concerning pets included.
Letting to tenants with pets often doesn’t cause much hassle, and even though it may mean you have to maintain the property on a more frequent basis, it could also lead to a more stable income. Just make sure you protect your property and your rights with your tenancy agreement before you allow any furry friends into your houses.