Should I rent to tenants with pets?

Published: 07/08/2019 By Jane Robathan

As UK home ownership declines the private rental market is shooting up. But recent changes in legislation mean landlords are feeling the pinch as tax breaks are stifled, second-home stamp duty has soared, and the Tenant Fee Ban all cut into profit.

Now more than ever, landlords need to know how to attract the best tenants and hang onto them.

We can show you how to tap into a huge market of tenants, usually overlooked, and desperate to set up home and stay there.

There are two simple things a landlord can do to protect themselves should a pet damage their property and several steps to make sure they rent to responsible pet-owners.

Around 40% of the UK population rent their home, which splits almost equally between the private and social sectors. We also know that almost half of all UK households own a pet, 45% of us in fact. There’s huge potential for landlords who want to tap into this growing market. Many landlords won’t consider these tenants because they assume their property will be damaged, but this is rarely the case if you follow our advice.

Let's show you how to maximise your appeal without putting your property at risk.

How to ensure you’re not legally liable for your tenant’s pet
 The Tenant Fee Ban means landlords can no longer ask pet owners for a higher deposit. Here’s what we suggest.

The free way
 Simply add a clause to the tenancy agreement stating that the tenant is responsible for any pet damage. This way, they are legally bound to pay for repairs.

Maybe free

 Check your insurance policy. Some landlord’s buildings and contents insurance covers pet damage alongside landlords’ liability and loss of rent.

Not free, but probably very cheap
 If you aren’t covered for pet damage, there are plenty of insurers to choose from. It’s usually best to get specialist landlord insurance with this included as part of a package.

Use a pet policy 
 Speak to your estate agent and explain that you’re after responsible tenants who will agree to the clause and sign a pet policy agreement, as advised by Dogs Trust.

We suggest a pet policy includes the following, at the very least:

  • A pet reference from the previous landlord
  • An agreement to treat worms and fleas regularly
  • A responsible attitude to noise and fouling

You can download a comprehensive pet policy from the Lets with Pets website and use it straight away. The site is a great resource for everyone.