With more people than ever owning a pet in the UK - and the Government making it easier for tenants to keep furry friends in a rental property - LandlordBuyer looks at tenants’ rights and how landlords can deal with issues that arise from pets in lets.

Protection for tenants

In excess of 17 million households now own a pet and that means more tenants will be looking for rental accommodation that allows domestic animals. The Government recognises how important animals can be to our mental and physical wellbeing, and has taken steps to make it easier for tenants with pets to rent a property.

The Government’s standard (but optional) tenancy agreement template has already been altered in favour of pets. It now enables renters to keep pets as the default and landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets. Whilst this is good news for tenants, it could become a headache for landlords - especially if it becomes compulsory for letting agents to include such a clause in their own in-house tenancy agreements.

Damage to your property

From scratches on doors, chewed up floors and dirty paw prints on the carpet, let properties where pets are allowed can suffer increased wear and tear, as well as incidences of accidental damage. Tenants’ four-legged friends can also leave lingering odours and, even worse, fleas.

All of these issues can take time to put right, creating a void period during any decontamination process. Then there’s the repair cost too – fixing a pet-damaged property can be expensive, potentially leaving landlords out of pocket if the deposit cap of 5 weeks’ worth of rent doesn’t cover the cost of the repairs.

Barking mad?

It’s not just the physical damage inside a let that can cause problems. Landlords may receive anti-social behaviour complaints from neighbours who are disturbed by a tenants’ noisy pet or what happens if a pet keeps leaving unpleasant ‘gifts’ in a communal garden? After all, no one wants to hear a dog barking all night or step in something foul.

Difficult to refuse in the near future

Although, for now, the final decision on allowing pets still lies with the landlord, it is becoming increasingly difficult to refuse tenants simply because they keep animals - especially as tenant groups and some MPs feel tenants with pets are being discriminated against.

Further Government changes relating to lets with pets are on the horizon, which will go above and beyond its standard tenancy agreement template. Landlords will have to object in writing to a pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason, for example where certain types of pets would be impractical in smaller properties or flats. A start date for this procedure isn’t set in stone but it is thought it will be in 2021.

Quick exit strategy

If you feel there is too much pressure to accept animals in your rental property, or if you find the idea of pet-related damage unacceptable, the future may be tricky. You could sell to LandlordBuyer for a quick exit strategy.

If you are a landlord who has rented a property to tenants with pets and found a badly damaged property during an inspection, perhaps a cat has soiled every carpet or a dog has chewed through the skirting boards, LandlordBuyer will purchase a buy-to-let in any condition – scratches, bite marks and fleas included!

You can even sell property fast with sitting tenants, so there’s no need to start an eviction process. We offer a speedy cash offer, with completion in as little as seven working days, if needed.

Get in touch to find out more about how we can take the stress out of selling your property.

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