Are pets really a problem?

A major supplier to the lettings sector says there’s no reason landlords should not allow pets into properties so long as there is a tightly-written contract,Inventory management firm No Letting Go says a well-considered pet clause should include specifics such as what pets a landlord will allow and a clear record of identification, licenses and vaccinations regarding the animal.

No Letting Go, completing inventories and check-outs for landlords, agents and property management companies for over 15 years, says that it has seen an increase of check-out issues related to pets.

These have included issues surrounding pet odours, carpet and curtain fraying, skirting board damage, damage to backdoors from unauthorised cat flaps and gardens excessively worn due to dogs being kept.It warns that the likelihood of these issues being addressed by the tenant before leaving is fairly low, which has more emphasis on ensuring good evidence is provided.

We are noticing and recording an increase in pet-related issues including excessive to fair wear and tear at check out, where the deposit schemes aren’t” according to No Letting Go chief executive Nick Lyons.

“It is likely that these issues are being negotiated before reaching adjudication or that the evidence isn’t strong enough to support a claim and landlords lose out, but there is certainly an increase. The one thing it has highlighted is that it is more important than ever that inventory companies or employees who complete the check-outs are much more vigilant with these issues.”

He says both TDS and My Deposits suggest pet problems right now aren’t as frequent as some might expect. This may be because many landlords have not allowed pets in the past or because permissions have been gained in advance, but with the increase in pet owners caused by lockdown and the increase in family lets over the past five years, this is likely to change.

accurate and clear clauses in the tenancy agreement

Sandy Bastin, head of TDS adjudication, says tenants have an obligation to return the property to its pre-tenancy condition and if any damage is caused and not put right, the landlord can claim for financial loss. Bastin goes on to state that along with accurate and clear clauses in the tenancy agreement, evidence from both the check-in and check-outs covering cleanliness and condition is critical.

Additionally, the TDS Letterbox newsletter also showed some interesting statistics based on a survey they carried out on 1,500 landlords. It highlighted the challenges today with pets and cost recovery. According to the survey, some 70 per cent of landlords believe pets should not be allowed in rented properties and of those that do, 64 per cent of landlords do not increase rent for the addition of pets.

However, 36 per cent do – and this is an increase from 25 per cent before the 2019 Tenant Fees Act.



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