Time to give pets a welcome in your rented property?
We have a potential tenant at the moment who is desperate to secure a tenancy of a property where the landlord is willing to accommodate his dog – a mini poodle. So far, we've been unable to help him.
Most of our clients do not want to consider pets, and we can understand their unwillingness to do so. Our experience however has been that tenants with pets tend to stay longer, and we’ve seldom had pet-related issues, so in this blog we’re looking at why it could be a good idea for landlords to open their arms to tenants with pets. We're not talking goldfish here, nor snakes or reptiles, and we'd advise against accomodating mice or hamsters as they have an alarming potential to cause expensive damage if they escape their cage but remain within the property.
Many tenants with pets have a tough time finding a suitable rental home, as the majority of landlords object to the idea of having an animal living in their property and so set a “no pets” rule. But, are their objections justified?
Not many landlords in Inverness allow pets and so if you were to decide to do so, you would have an edge over the competition in the area and this may enable a higher rent to be negotiated. As mentioned above, our experience has been that tenants with pets, probably because of the scarcity of pet-friendly accommodation, and possibly because they value stability and are reluctant to impose a change of routine on their pet, tend to stay longer. So, letting to a pet owner is likely to postpone any void period, and of course void periods can be costly for landlords with costs running on while no income is coming in.
We’ve also noted that the pet owners we’ve let to have tended to take particularly good care of their rented properties and our concerns over cat and doggy smells have been unfounded.
We take a higher deposit from tenants with pets, specifically to cover the risk of any pet-related damage, and we request a “pet reference” from a veterinary surgeon or impartial third-party. We can also make acceptance of a pet conditional on the tenant paying for carpet and/or upholstery cleaning at the end of the tenancy if a landlord so requires.
To sum up, if you’re a landlord opposed to pets it might be worth reconsidering and extending a welcome to four-footed tenants. Instructing your letting agent to advertise your property as "Pets considered" will allow you to consider proposals on an individual basis without committing you. Take a look at the Dogs' Trust Lets to Pets website for further information.
The risks can be mitigated and there could be clear advantages.