Pets are the heart of the home. A pet cat for your tenants could make them feel happier and more likely to stay in your property for longer, which is good news for you as a landlord. It is common for landlords to have a blanket ‘no pets’ policy while renting out their home. But, with the increasing number of people renting a property, this means that landlords are missing out on this huge group of possible tenants that are responsible and would treat the property as a valued home, even with a pet. However, you want to make sure that your property is still being well looked after, here are some easy steps for keeping you, the landlord and your tenant happy while allowing pets in the property:
- The most obvious and easy one, ask your potential tenant about their pet.
Responsible pet owners would be more than happy to provide their potential landlord with some information about their pet. You could ask them for veterinary records so that you can make sure that the pet has been neutered, vaccinated and protected against fleas and other parasites. It is also important to ask the owner to provide information on the pet’s character. How does the pet likes to spend its time? How does the pet interact with other pets and people? Does the pet use a litter tray? Also, if the tenant has rented a property before, it would be helpful to you if you could ask them to provide a reference from a previous landlord for their pet. This way, you can see from their previous landlord if the pet had been destructive with their property and then you can make your decision to allow pets into your property tenant by tenant.
- Advertising your property.
When asking a lettings agent to advertise your property, or if you are advertising it yourself, advertise your property as “pets considered” and in the property, description add a clause detailing that you will allow pets at the landlord discretion. This puts you, as the landlord, in control of ensuring that your new tenant is a responsible pet owner. It also allows you, while saying that you will consider pets, to say no to any tenant with a pet that you think would be destructive to your property. But as said in the point above, it is always important to get more information about the pet to make a fair decision.
- In your tenancy agreement, add a clause for a responsible and reasonable pet.
This would require pets to be neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. It would also involve the owner needing to regularly treat the pet for fleas and worms to make sure that your property is safe from parasites. As well as put a limit on the number of animals allowed to be kept in the property, which is generally set at two. Many pet owners like to have more than one pet to keep the other one company when they are out. Making sure that the pet has company can also be useful to you as a landlord as it would minimise the risk of the pet getting bored and taking their boredom out on carpets and furnishings. 75% of private landlords who have had a tenant with a cat have not experienced any problems, especially when they have gone through these guidelines.