A recent law change now means that landlords are no longer allowed to discriminate against tenants with pets – from speaking to tenants, we know that pet owners found that it was much harder to find pet friendly rental properties so this is great news and should make it easier for pet owners to find their next rental home.
But what are the positives of this law change for landlords and how can landlords who were previous “anti-pet” protect themselves under their obligation to provide pet friendly rental properties.
Benefits Of Pet Friendly Rental Properties
High Demand From Pet Owner Tenants
The first benefit is the extremely high demand of offering a pet friendly rental properties.
Whilst a good rental property will have high demand in most areas of the UK, good pet friendly rental properties will have even higher demand from more pet owner tenants.
To create pet friendly rental properties, consider how you can improve the property such as by making the garden/yard areas more secure to avoid theft or house animals escaping.
It is likely that you will be able to secure a higher rent for a good pet friendly rental properties due to the higher demand and higher requirements from a tenant (such as wanting a secure garden/yard area)
Long Term Tenants Who Look After Pet Friendly Rental Properties
Renters with pets will know how challenging it is to find good pet friendly rental properties, and therefore as a landlord you have a much higher chance of keeping these tenants long term (as long as you’re a good landlord who treats them well, and keeps the property maintained).
These tenants will also be more likely to treat the property well, as they will want to ensure that they protect their future and will be reluctant to move due to the scarcity of viable properties in the area.
An Extra Layer Of Security
Whilst this is dependent on the type of pet, it is still worth noting that some animals, specifically dogs in a property can act as a deterrent to potential vandalism and burglary.
What To Watch Out For With Pet Friendly Rental Properties
Upsetting The Neighbours
Pets can be a reason for dispute between your tenant and their neighbours due to noise or mess. As a landlord, it is best to maintain a good relationship with your properties neighbours, so consider how pets could impact those living nearby.
Risk Of Damage To The Property
Whilst precautions can be taken, there is always a risk that pets could cause damage to your rental property (which is a reason rent for pet-friendly properties is generally higher than non-pet friendly competition).
The damage could range from mess, bite/claw damage to skirting boards, doors and carpets, lingering smells, and flea infestations.
How To Protect Your Pet Friendly Rental Properties
Add Pet-Related Items To Your Tenancy Agreement
If your tenants have/get a pet, this should be reflected in the tenancy agreement to protect your rental property from the potential drawbacks we discussed above. These items should set out that any damage caused by animals is paid for, or fixed, and that the property is left clean.
Policy For Pets
Another way to avoid potential future conflict is to be clear in the agreement what your expectations are, and whether there are any special actions that the tenant should take.
If your tenant has pets, then be sure to look out for issues relating to animals when completing your inspections. This could include soiled carpets, claw marks on skirting boards, and mess left in the garden/yard area.
Ask For References From Previous Landlords
If the tenant is coming from a rental property, seek a reference from their previous landlord to gauge how the pet has affected the upkeep of the property.
If this isn’t possible, depending on your concerns, you could ask for a reference from their vet, ask to meet the pet to see it’s temperament, or ask to see the owners record of vaccinations and flea protection.
Take Cost Of Repairs From Deposits
If damage has occured to the property beyond normal wear and tear, this is where a desposit can protect you, and can reduce the impact of the cost of repairs.
What To Do Now:
If you were previously an “anti-pet” landlord, and are unsure how to protect your rental properties from pets, our team would love to help you.
We help landlords and property investors make the most of their rental portfolio in Hartlepool, and offer an unbeatable property management service to help generate maximum income, with minimal stress and hassle.
Call us on 01429 36 36 36 or click the link below to request a landlord information pack:
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- Over 900 fantastic tenants on our waiting list (so we can let your properties FAST!)
- Local knowledge and expertise as we are based in Hartlepool
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Read Our Blog – What To Do If Your Tenant Doesn’t Pay Rent
Read Our Blog – Get Started With Property Investing In Hartlepool
Read Our Blog – Convert A Rental Property Into Shared Accommodation
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