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Is It Worth It to Let Tenants Keep Pets?

Hey there! If you came upon this post, that means that you are a landlord trying to decide whether to let your tenants keep their pets, right? It's definitely a tough decision to make. On one hand, allowing pets can make your rental property unique and more attractive to a larger pool of potential renters, which will allow you to charge a premium. But on the other hand, pets can be naughty and come with their own set of challenges.



Table of Contents

Pros

Cons

Tips


Property Store with their pet dog.

Pro: Attracting More Potential Renters


Did you know that according to Woof Advisor, around 78% of pet owners are having a hard time finding pet-friendly flats? And according to My Deposits, about 50% of tenants have pets. Shockingly, data from GOV.UK shows that only 7% of private landlords advertise their units as pet-friendly. This means that there is a significant gap in the market! By advertising your unit as pet-friendly, you will be able to stand out from the competition and increase your pool of potential tenants.


50% of tenants have pets, 78% of pet owners are having a hard time finding flats and only 7% of private landlords advertise their units as pet-friendly

Be More Selective with Tenants


Having a larger pool of potential tenants means that you can be more selective when choosing who to rent to. As long as you have a rigorous screening in place, you can ensure that you find responsible pet owners who will take good care of your property, especially since pet-friendly rental properties are hard to find! Remember "When tenants feel like they're getting a good deal, they're more likely to stay and take better care of the property..." from our last blog?



Fewer Void Periods


Allowing pets in your rental property can attract potential renters and lead to less time spent looking for new tenants. By having a rigorous screening process, you'll have a lower vacancy rate, helping you avoid lost rental income during periods of vacancy. Opening up your property for pets can be a smart financial decision in the long run.



Pro: Additional Income with Pet Rent


Another benefit of allowing pets in your rental property is the potential for additional income. You can charge Pet Rent, which is a fee on top of rent, for the privilege of keeping a pet. According to My Deposits, landlords charge a pet rent of about £25 to £50 per month, which translates to as much as £600 per year. This extra rent can be used to offset the damages to your property.



Pro: Happier Tenants


Another advantage of renting to tenants with pets is that they tend to be happier. According to an article from The Independent, more than half of pet owners say that getting a pet was "one of the best moments of their lives" and that pets are important family members. Happy and satisfied tenants are more likely to take care of their property and pay rent on time, making for a better relationship between landlord and tenant.



Con: Potential Property Damage


Pets can cause damage to the property which can be quite expensive. According to Property Mark, 85% of landlords and agents incurred pet damages and 57% of the respondents were unable to recoup the cost of pet damage.


57% of respondents were unable to recoup the cost of pet damage

Con: Neighbour Complaints


Pets can be quite naughty at times and may cause issues for the neighbours. With the pandemic, working from home is now the preferred option and if tenants with pets fail to control their pets' barking or howling, this could lead to complaints from neighbouring tenants and in worst cases, potentially lead to conflict and legal issues down the line.



Tip: Set Clear Guidelines and Policies


To make things easier for both you and your tenants, it’s essential to set clear guidelines and policies for pets. Establish rules limiting the number of pets and sizes allowed. You may also reject certain breeds that are known for their violent tendencies such as Rottweiler and Pit Bull Terrier.


You should also regularly inspect your unit to identify damages and address issues before they get out of hand. During these inspections, you should also knock on adjacent units and ask if they are experiencing any issues related to your tenant's pet. This can help you stay ahead of any potential complaints from neighbours and address them before they escalate into bigger problems.



Tip: Pet Damage Insurance


The use of pet damage insurance is highly recommended to landlords who are considering allowing pets in their rental properties. According to Property Mark, 65.5% of respondents prefer insurance as a solution to potential pet damages. As a landlord, it's important to communicate to your tenants that a portion of their rent goes towards pet damage insurance. A good tenant should understand and have no problem agreeing to this arrangement. If they prefer to purchase their insurance policy, be sure to provide them with options and review the terms and conditions of their chosen policy. Keep in mind that clear communication with your tenants is essential to ensuring a successful and positive renting experience for both parties.


Conclusion


In conclusion, the decision to allow pets in your rental property can be a tough one to make. However, by weighing the pros and cons and taking necessary precautions such as rigorous tenant screening, setting clear guidelines and policies, getting pet damage insurance, and regularly inspecting the property, the additional income and potential for fewer vacancy periods can make it worth it. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences and priorities as a landlord, but with proper preparation and communication, allowing pets can lead to happier tenants and a better relationship between landlord and tenant.

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