One issue that often causes problems between landlords and tenants is allowing pets within the property.
We all love our pets, but for landlords it can be a worry when responsibilities such as decorating, maintenance and damage to carpets are their responsibilities.
So, the question is, should you consider letting your tenants keep a pet? Here’s the pros and cons.
One great way to reap in the benefits is to charge a higher rent if the tenant has a pet. The more pets, the higher the income. Most pet owners are happy to pay extra as long as it doesn’t mean parting with Fluffy or sneaking around behind the landlords back.
It’s obvious, if 50% of the population have a dog, your property is 50% more likely to attract tenants. Opening the doors to paws is a great way to appeal to a wider audience.
By allowing your tenants to keep pets, you’re making them happy, and happy tenants either stick around or give good reviews. As a professional you want clientele to know that you do your job properly, and if tenants are happy with you, then you must be doing something right. Pets make people happy and they will thank you for embracing the furry member of the family.
Probably the biggest worry, pets cause damage. They have claws and teeth that don’t agree with wallpaper and carpets and that’s a huge worry for most landlords. We would suggest charging a higher rent so that the extra costs can cover the repairs of any pet damage.
Another option would be to take a higher deposit just in case anything did happen.
Everybody says the same thing, ‘He wouldn’t hurt a fly’ ‘He’s as daft as a brush’… but some dogs have bad reputations, and you don’t want the postman getting on the wrong side of that Staffordshire Bull Terrier because the landlord may be liable under the liability section of a good policy.
A good idea would be to contact a previous landlord or neighbour if possible and get a reference as to how the animal behaved. Remember that most pets are pretty well behaved, it does depend on the owner.
Most pets make noise. Whether they’re running around or howling in the middle of the night, you don’t want to become a burden on the neighbours or other tenants in the apartment block. Animals can become loud for a range of reasons, but more often than not it’s looking for a friend to spend the night with.
It could be a good idea to require animals to be spayed or neutered in order to live in your property. This can not only calm them down vocally, but also prevent bad behaviour.
Pets aren’t just considered high risk to landlords, they are also a risk to insurers too. We understand the damage that can be caused and so most policies won’t cover damage caused by pets.
Allowing pets into the property could either effect your premiums or claims would not be accepted if damage was caused by the animal. We would suggest disclosing this to your insurer and speaking to one of our advisors as to how this may personally effect you.
It’s not uncommon for people to be allergic to animals, especially children. If you are renting out a flat, you need to be considerate of other people who may have problems with the animal next door. Not only that, but if allergens stick around in the carpet, your next tenants may have a reactions and you could be facing problems.
An idea would be to limit the number of pets that your tenant is allowed. Worrying about one cat or dog is bad enough, but 3 cats, 2 dogs and a Guinea Pig is enough to worry anyone.
If you like the idea of appealing to more renters and also the possibility of bringing in a larger income, you should create a specific section in the lease covering pets that addresses all of these issues.
Use the advice above to create a lease that protects your finances and property. If you want to learn more about protecting your finances, you can read Additional Policy features Can Protect Your Finances.