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Should you rent to tenants with pets?

It's a question all landlords ask themselves. Your initial feelings on the matter probably come down to whether you are a pet lover yourself.

If so you may be more inclined to consider tenants with pets. By the same token, you will be aware of the damage a pet can cause. Especially large dogs.

More hotels and holiday lets are now pet-friendly. Many businesses have realised the potential profit from pet owners. This includes hotels, holiday homes, and campsites. There are even day care centres where people can leave their pets while they shop or go to work.

As a landlord, you could consider following the trend and opening up your properties to pet owners. After all, 44% of the UK population own a pet.

After all, by choosing not to rent to pet owners you may be limiting the market for your property.

What are the advantages of renting to pet owners?

By far the biggest benefit of renting to tenants with pets is you are able to charge higher rents. With many landlords not allowing pets, their owners are limited in their choices.

By accepting pets you will have dog and cat owners beating a path to your door. And they will be happy to pay a premium.

You will also have a wider pool of tenants to choose from. This will ease any worries you have about the property ever standing empty. Or having to accept the first person who comes along.

Responsible pet owners also tend to be good tenants. That may be a bit of an assumption but based on the personal experiences people who care for pets also care for their environment. Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule.

You can also benefit in another way from the lack of choice pet owners have. Once they find a property they are likely to remain long-term.

Given the difficulty of finding a rental home tenants with pets are hardly likely to be constantly moving. This means you don't have to worry about continually finding new tenants.

What are the disadvantages of renting to pet owners

There are some clear disadvantages or risks in letting a property to a pet owner.

  • The high-risk of damage to fixtures and the garden
  • Lingering cat or dog odour
  • Potential for noise issues from barking dogs
  • A possible physical danger to yourself and neighbours from a dangerous dog

Those are very real concerns for many landlords. Especially the potential for damage and nuisance from large dogs.

How to reduce the risk associated with renting to a tenant with pets

However, if you are wavering and wondering about allowing pets there are steps you can take to reduce any risk.

The first is to extend the terms and conditions in your tenancy agreement.

Your lease should include clauses about pets. Certainly, if you don't allow pets there should be a specific and clear clause explaining this.

If however, you want to rent to tenants with pets it is advisable to be specific which you allow.

You may be OK with a tropical fish tank but draw the line at anything with four legs.

Include additional clauses in the lease which holds the tenant responsible for damage caused by the pet. You could also ask for a higher deposit as the likelihood of damage is greater.

The next thing is to extend your screening process. You need to meet the pet.

If the tenant turns up with a Pitbull which looks like it eats postmen for breakfast you may want to think twice. If it’s a friendly Labrador which wants to play you will probably be convinced. And yes I realise I’m revealing my canine prejudices here.

But if the dog, or cat, looks vicious or has an appetite for eating skirting boards it’s advisable to wait for the next pet owner to come along. Trust your instinct here.

So, there are ways to reduce any risks. And you may well find it more profitable and convenient in the long run to rent to tenants with pets.

One more thing to consider. Would a pet cause any more damage than one or two young children? Probably not.

A final word

The discussion above applies only to pets. Not assistance dogs.

You must allow assistance dogs in your properties. It is illegal to discriminate against them and their owners.

Listing your property for tenants with pets

Whether you rent to tenants with pets or not it is easy to list your property with Makeurmove. You can even try us completely free of charge. List your property now.

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