Landlords – should tenants have “default right” to keep pets?
As a nation of pet-lovers, the ability to keep a pet can be make-or-break for British renters. For landlords, the pros and cons can be complicated.
Private rental agreements often ban animals by default. Now, as part of a package of proposed animal welfare measures, Labour has suggested tenants’ rights should be strengthened to allow them to keep pets in their properties.
Labour says the proposal recognises the growing number of people who have to rent well into their thirties.
Tenants can currently seek permission from their landlord to keep pets, but under the 2015 Consumer Rights Act a landlord can refuse permission if keeping an animal would be “unreasonable”; on the grounds of the animal’s size, potential damage or impact on future renters.
But allowing pets into your property could actually have some surprising benefits for your business.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, said, “tenants who keep pets do tend to stay for longer periods of time, and there are a few simple steps that landlords can take in order to mitigate the perceived increased risks”.
- Plan for damage, but don’t worry about it
Responsible dog owners won’t let their animal destroy the house and will be happy to get the carpets cleaned when they move out if you request this. If you’re worried, it’s fine to ask for a larger deposit to cover potential problems when the tenants leave.
- Don’t narrow your market
As it becomes increasingly difficult to purchasing a property, more of us are renting – and for longer. By disallowing tenants with furry friends you may be cutting the number of people you can market your properties towards.
- Check with your broker
Allowing tenants with pets may or may not impact your ability to claim on Property Owners’ Insurance, depending on the policy you have, and what’s gone wrong. Get in touch and one of our brokers will be happy to check what you’re insured for.