Should property owners allow pets in their properties? Many of our clients say that this is quite a challenging question to answer. Even if they have a great fondness for animals, the idea of damaged floors, carpets, scratched doors and odour can put off any property owner. It can leave them wondering whether the damage will devalue the property. How about the neighbours, any noisy dogs or roaming cats could annoy the neighbours. What to do?
When it comes to answering the question, we always advise our clients to put their business hat on. Emotion should be left at the door as they carefully consider the facts.
With over 22 million pets in the UK, almost 1 out of every two households have a pet. Many one-person households have a pet for company. It’s actually becoming a reality that pets are now part of the rental property market in the UK. Those who want to enjoy a higher return on their investment property will need to consider accepting a pet along with a good tenant.
Research in Australia has discovered that those tenants with pets will expect to pay up to 15% more in rent and that they would rather sign for a longer lease.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have also expressed a concern about the number of calls that they receive from pet owners who are having difficulty in finding a rental property that accepts pets.
Everybody who has a rental property should consider these facts. After all, the best rental yield and consistent tenancy is a large desire for owners. Maybe it’s time to have a rethink.
You can lower the risk by asking your property manager or arranging yourself to:
· Include conditions in the agreement that match your comfort level. For example if there is any damage caused by the pets, then the owner is responsible for them.
· Making it a responsibility of the owner to have pest control for fleas taken care of at the conclusion of the tenancy. Proof of this is required.
· During property inspections, there are checks for droppings in the garden and stains on the carpet.
· As part of the reference on the tenant, ask about the pets. Was there any damage at previous tenancies? How was this handled by the tenant?
Don’t turn away what could be excellent tenants just because they have a pet. You could lose out on an increased yield and a longer tenancy.
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