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Man’s best friend? Tips on letting to tenants with pets.

28 May 2015 4981 Views
Man’s best friend? Tips on letting to tenants with pets.

WHILE, statistically speaking, pet owners are likely to be happier than their animal-free alter-egos, letting a property to a tenant with an animal entourage can be a dog’s life for landlords. Soiled carpets, scratched woodwork and the smell of wet dog are just a few of the problems that could give landlords pause for thought before signing off on an animal addition to their tenancy. But, with just over half of all households in the UK being pet-owning ones, pet-friendly tenancies are hugely in demand and landlords who are prepared to allow their tenants a four-legged friend have a huge market to corner.

And, as the demand is so much larger than the supply, tenants who’ve managed to scoop up a pet-friendly property are likely to stay in it much longer, which is good news for the landlord, as empty properties soon lead to empty wallets.  

Those landlords looking to get in on the lucrative pet-letting market would do well to remember that, although there’s a lot of demand for dog and cat friendly domains, properties with animals in residence do tend to throw up more costly repairs too.

Pet-friendly potential landlords should consider factoring in the possible damage a pet can cause into the deposit for their property – most pet owners are happy to pay an additional supplement, or even a separate pet deposit, to take into account the toll that housing an animal can take on your house.

It is also a good idea to request that your tenant agrees to a specialised cleaning service at the end of the tenancy to remove any stubborn animal smells or stains. Pet owners are surprisingly impervious to the odours that their pets can leave behind, so in this instance it’s definitely best to call in the professionals.

We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to organize an accurate inventory of your property before your tenant and their faithful friend move in. The devil really is in the detail, and if you don’t have everything itemized, small matters like scratched skirting boards can become contentious.

Finally, giving your tenant permission to house a pet in writing protects both parties. It is also an essential way to ensure that your tenant knows that you’re happy for them to have one pet, rather than open a zoo. If your tenant wants to expand their menagerie they should seek written permission from you. This should prevent your property turning into an animal house.

Any good managing agent should have specific pet-related protocols in place and should thus be able to advise you on the best way to enter the pet market and protect your property at the same time. If you decide that you want to take on responsibility for managing your own property, following the tips above should ensure that you remain top dog no matter what type of animal your tenant throws at you. Now that’s what we call throwing you a bone…

Remember, if you’re paying for professional management to take away the headaches then it’s critical to ensure that you know how repairs will be dealt with.  

Click here to see if the agency you use has is one of the hundreds across the UK that have invested in a Fixflo system to protect their clients’ properties. 

If they haven’t ask them what processes they have in place to:

-    communicate with tenants who don’t speak English proficiently
-    boost first time fixes and reduce your costs
-    ensure your tenants know what to do to protect your property in an emergency

* Landlords should note that all assistance dogs must be permitted by law.  

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