Letting with Pets

We love our pets here at Sure Lettings Gloucester, with many of us having four legged companions.  Frequently we find tenants looking to rent with their pets and struggling as not all landlords are willing to accommodate furry tenants.  We can understand landlords are reluctant; dogs and cats are clean, house trained animals but hair, claws and exuberant waggy tails can result in extra wear and tear on a property which tenants without pets won’t, theoretically, produce.   The reality is it all depends on the tenants and the pets; a family of two adults and two pre-school aged children could create just as much (if not more) wear and tear as a couple with one well behaved dog.  So, whether you’re a tenant looking for a new home which accept pets or a landlord unsure about whether to allow pets in your rental property, here’s our guide for successful letting with pets:

Tenants

  • Create a Pet CV:  If you have cats or dogs, write a CV for each of them.  Include a photo, how old they are, details about their breed, details about their registered vet, where they sleep at night and how often they are treated for fleas and worms.  Confirm if your pet is insured.
  • Create your own pet-owner reference:  How long have you been a pet owner?  What is your lifestyle?  Do you work from home or part-time – how long will your pets be left alone in the day time?  All these factors might influence whether a landlord will consider taking you and your pets.  A dog at home with their work-from-home owner all day is likely to be engaged more than a dog left for more than 6-8 hours at a time.  If you use a crate for a pet when you’re away from home, make sure you include this information too.
  • Offer to let your prospective landlord meet your pet:  By being open about your pet owning, you will demonstrate you have nothing to hide to your prospective landlord.  Sometimes meeting the pet(s) in question will alieve any landlord concerns.
  • Be prepared to pay a pet deposit:  Some agents request a pet bond in addition to the normal deposit, usually in the region of £100 – £250.  It will be registered in a deposit scheme with the normal deposit but gives the landlord reassurance over any extra wear and tear.

Landlords

  • Advertise your property as ‘Pets Considered’:  That way you are casting your net wide to consider all tenants out there.  After consideration if you think an exuberant springer spaniel is going put too much wear and tear on the carpets then you are within your rights to say no, however, that single tenant with her little Maltese lap dog may cause minimal wear and tear.
  • Add a Pet Clause to the tenancy agreement:  Or if you’re using an agent, ask them to add one for you.  A pet clause will set out what pets you have agreed to live at the property, therefore protecting you should your tenant decide get another pet without asking your permission first.
  • Always request a pet bond:  The tenancy deposit covers wear and tear; the pet bond or deposit is an add-on which covers any extra wear and tear brought about by pets living in the property.
  • Add a Cleaning Clause to the tenancy agreement:  Most tenancy agreements cover cleaning at the end of the tenancy but if you are concerned that carpets are likely to come back dirtier with a pet living at the property, request the tenants have the carpets professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy and that they provide you with a receipt for this.

For more information on letting with pets you can visit Lets with Pets (which is a subsidiary of The Dogs Trust).

Most letting with pets relates to dogs and cats (especially in terms of the pet bond) although it is advisable to always mention your pet(s) before paying a holding deposit for a rental property whether it’s a cat, dog, hamster, gerbil, rabbit, iguana or boa constrictor (and, yes, we have managed properties with glass caged snakes before!)

And, as always, if you have any queries or concerns regarding anything discussed on this week’s blog or you are looking to make your next rental move, please don’t hesitate to contact the team on 01452 31099, email us at gloucester@surepropertygroup.com or call into our offices on Worcester Street for an informal and no-obligation chat.