The UK is a nation of animal lovers, with over 40% of the nation owning a pet. Despite this, the majority of UK landlords refuse to rent their properties to tenants with pets and those that do often charge their tenants more to cover potential damage.
Since tenants are struggling to find landlords that will accommodate for their four-legged companion, many are choosing to sneak pets into their homes or getting pets without their permission. According to new report by CIA Landlord Insurance, some 78% of landlords revealed that they have previously caught their tenants keeping pets in their property when they weren’t supposed to.
Pet ownership has been one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and their tenants – around 93% of the nation says having a pet makes them happy and it is believed that around 40% owns a pet of some sort. However, in the study by CIA Landlord, only 18% of landlords said that they would be happy to take on a tenant with a pet and most of those would only do so if they could charge extra. Landlords are hesitant to rent to pet owners for a variety of reasons – in CIA Landlord’s study, the most common reason was that they were concerned that the pet would injure other tenants. This was closely followed by concerns that the pet wasn’t trained properly. On average, Landlords had to fork out £183 to repair damage caused by animals in their property.
Richard Wayman, finance director at CIA Landlord, said: “As a landlord, it can be a difficult decision on whether you want to enforce a no-pets-allowed policy in your property.
“From damages to the furniture, to happier tenants, there are many disadvantages and advantages to allowing a tenant keeping a pet.
“It’s important that you fully consider all aspects before deciding on what is best for you and your property.”
So, what can landlords do when they find an unauthorised pet in their property? Of course, it is frustrating when your tenants are dishonest with you and while you would be well within your right to evict them if pet are clearly prohibited in the tenancy agreement, this should be regarded as a last resort. Before you hand out an eviction notice, try to explore your options, especially if you previously had a good relationship with your tenant. Inspect your property and assess the situation – if there is no damage to the property and the pet appears to be well behaved, it might be worth your while coming to an agreement with your tenant where all parties can benefit.
If you are a tenant that is considering getting a pet, it is absolutely paramount that you clear it with your landlord. If you breach your tenancy agreement, you could run the risk of getting into trouble with your landlord where they could ask you to give up your pet – which would also be unfair on the animal. Worse still, if it’s clearly outlined in your tenancy agreement that you’re not allowed pets, you could end up being evicted from your home. As nice as it is to have a furry friend, it’s not worth risking your home for.
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