Why accepting tenants with pets makes good business sense.
Lets with Pets is an innovative scheme run by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity,to encourage more landlords and letting agencies to accept tenants with pets. The charity hopes to make the process of privately renting with pets easier for tenants while highlighting the potential benefits to landlords.
Until now pet owners have largely been an untapped market but, by adopting a pet-friendly approach, landlords and letting agencies can increase demand for their properties and attract responsible tenants. After all, 46% of the UK population currently owns a pet.
To enable landlords to target and manage pet owners as tenants, Dogs Trust runs a Lets with Pets website www.letswithpets.org.uk where landlords can download a range of free resources, such as a sample pet policy, pet clause and pet information form.
Dogs Trust understands that landlords who have little experience of pets may be concerned by what they see as the pitfalls of pet ownership. To help them make an informed decision about accepting tenants with pets, the website also contains information on responsible pet ownership, animals & the law and the most commonly kept pets.
Landlord Hilary from Rugby has four buy-to-let properties and
is happy to let them to pet owners. She says:
“I use a letting agency to look after my houses for me and they take an extra deposit from the tenant just to cover the possible cost of carpet cleaning or repair any damages that might be caused by a pet. This gives me a little extra reassurance that there will not be any problems. I have let houses to tenants with both dogs and cats and would rather a property was occupied by a responsible pet owner than left empty.”
Top Ten Tips For Landlords
Dogs Trust has put together it’s top tips for landlords to make the process to renting to pet owners as simple as possible:
Evaluate prospective tenants and their pets on an individual basis– get a reference from a previous landlord where possible and judge each case on its merit
In the case of dogs, ask to meet the pet in person as every dog is different
Limit the number of pets allowed according to the size and type of property
Ask for proof that cats and dogs are fully up to date with vaccinations and flea treatments
Ask for a reasonable, additional deposit to cover any damage that may be caused by pets
Add a pet clause to your usual tenancy agreement, seeking advice from a solicitor if necessary. You may also wish to include a pet policy
Take full details of any pets you have given permission for, including the contact details of someone who can take care of them in case of an emergency
Ensure the property is checked regularly by yourself or a management company to prevent problems arising
When letting your property through a letting agency, make sure you tell them you would consider renting to pet owners and which pets you would accept
Visit the Lets with Pets website www.letswithpets.org.uk for information, advice and free downloadable resource