Landlords have laid bare the strangest things they’ve encountered in their rental properties during spot checks or end-of-tenancy inspections.
The revelations come as part of a survey of 500 landlords from across the country by Intus Lettings. The survey was carried out to understand the changing buy-to-let industry and the challenges faced by landlords and tenants.
Unsurprisingly, many landlords said they’d found clothes, appliances, discarded rubbish and post house party mess in their rentals but for others, the findings have been much more shocking.
Animals – dead and alive – were a common theme within landlords’ responses, with everything from unreported cats and dogs that had been living in the property against rental agreements, to the more unexpected: a rat in an oven, uncaged tarantula and ducks living in a bath. One landlord reported discovering a large lizard roaming the living room and another said they’d found a donkey living in the garden.
Hope McKendrick, head of lettings at Intus, said: “When you consider that 42% of landlords say they have banned pets from their properties, the number who told us they had found animal life at their homes is considerable – and the vast array of species kept by tenants is bordering on the unbelievable! It just goes to show how important it is to carry out regular inspections and have clear contracts and deposit policies in place in order for landlords to protect their properties.”
Other landlords reported finding sex toys, drug paraphernalia and alcohol, including one respondent who had found 64 empty Jack Daniels bottles stashed in the airing cupboard.
Hope continued: “Keeping tabs on rentals can be time consuming and stressful, particularly for the 50% of landlords who have more than one buy-to-let, or those that live far away from properties.
“Seeking the support of a letting agent is a sure-fire way to keep nasty surprises to a minimum and ensure that if issues do arise, they’re dealt with swiftly and professionally.”