Mishandled pet tenancies could cost landlords thousands of pounds in repairs, warns inventory services provider No Letting Go, whose CEO Nick Lyons says ‘blanket bans’ on pets will soon be a thing of the past.

Those who allow pets in their properties should get good insurance, compile a detailed inventory and make regular inspections to avoid being caught out, he says.

As well as the obvious need for extra cleaning and banishing animal smells, they need to be vigilant in identifying property damage caused by pets; claw marks on doors, torn and frayed carpets at the bottom of stairs and pet hairs on the back of curtains and blinds are often found by inventory clerks carrying out property visits.

Landlords also might have to deal with the expensive and destructive problem of pet urine on carpets.

MP Andrew Rosindell’s Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation Protection Bill was recently stalled at its second reading due to Covid issues, and although the government has rewritten its model standard tenancy agreement to include more pet-friendly elements, its new terms and conditions are voluntary.

Property damage

Despite this, as tenant demand for pets rises, landlords must have the measures in place to deal with the increased risk of property damage says Lyons (pictured), founder and CEO of No Letting Go, who believes we’re moving towards a scenario where blanket bans on pets are no longer an option.

He adds: “With this in mind, it’s time for letting agents and landlords to start preparing for a more pet-friendly PRS by making sure they have the right insurance in place, compile a detailed inventory and monitor damage through regular property inspections.”

Adds Lyons: “Having the necessary records and evidence of damage can make it easier for repairs and maintenance costs to be recouped from a tenant’s deposit at the end of a tenancy.”

Here are a few tips for landlords to consider when renting to tenants with pets:

  1. Take a reference from their previous landlord and establish if any problems occurred with the pet/pets.
  2. Take into consideration the pet and the property suitability. Is the property big enough? Is the space outside? Dogs require a reasonably good amount of space indoors and outdoors for it to be considered a good and safe place as highlighted by dog welfare organisations. Is the outside space secure?
  3. Have discussions with your tenant in detail about what requirements they need to maintain the property to a good standard and provide help where needed.
  4. Edit your tenancy agreement.
  5. Check whether your own lease or insurance allows for pets.

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