In a story on the 3rd of September, the Guardian newspaper revealed that many landlords are now charging their tenants a supplement on their rent if they keep a pet or pets.
The so-called “pet rent” is being levied at as much as £50 a month per animal – adding hundreds of pounds to the tenant’s rental bill. Going still further, the story gave as an example a family with one dog and two cats who would be paying more than £1,400 annually in rent for their pets.
There has even been an instance where the landlord asked for a reference for the tenant’s pet.
Landlord Today on the 5th of September, also ran with the story, suggesting that landlords are likely to be tempted to include charging a rental supplement for any pets as a way of recouping income lost through the current ban on tenants’ fees.
According to some reports, the incidence of landlords charging pet rent has increased since the 1st of June, when the ban on tenants’ fees came into force. Before that date, some landlords had asked for an additional security deposit of around £150 if the tenant had a pet.
With landlords now no longer able to recover some of their administrative costs – to lettings agents, for example – by charging the fees to tenants, it is argued that they have little option but to effectively increase the rent by any means possible – in this case, by charging a rent for any pets the tenants have living with them.