Should I Let Tenants Keep a Pet?

Data circulating the property industry provides a clear message – landlords don’t like tenants keeping a pet.

With only 7%[1] of UK rentals advertising themselves as pet-friendly, we think there’s a lot of missed opportunities from landlords sticking with the ‘no pets allowed’ policy.

In this article, we’ll explore what the UK law is on tenants keeping pets, what the benefits of being pet-friendly are for landlords and share our advice on how to safely allow your tenants to keep a pet.

What is the Law on Letting With Pets?

Ultimately, it’s the landlord’s decision as to whether a tenant can keep a pet in their property.

However, the UK government encourages more landlords to allow pet-friendly renting through the Model Tenancy Agreement. This is the government’s recommendation for what a good shorthold tenancy agreement should look like.

This contains two crucial elements about pets in rentals, including:

  • Landlords shouldn’t have a blanket ‘no pets allowed’ policy and;
  • Landlords should consider any request from a tenant seriously and only decline for good reason

Should I Let Tenants Keep a Pet?

While there can be risks associated with a tenant having pets (like them damaging the property or causing a nuisance to neighbours), there are benefits, too.

By allowing tenants to keep pets and advertising your property as pet-friendly, you can:

  • Attract better tenants in the future
  • Sign longer leases (which can mean less chance of voids)
  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Keep existing tenants happy

How to Safely Let Your Property as Pet-Friendly

1.   Ask for Records

Depending on the animal, you may want to check that it’s up to date on its vaccinations. An owner that stays on top of vaccinations is a good sign that they are responsible. Plus, it can reassure you that the animal is healthy and protected from diseases.

2.   Check Training

If your tenant is requesting to keep a hamster, cat or reptile, checking training records isn’t important. But if your tenant wants to keep a dog in your property, make sure you ask about their training. Ask questions like who trained them and how much training they’ve had.

3.   Arrange a Meet and Greet

If you’re concerned about how well behaved your tenants’ pet is, arrange a meet and greet to see what they are like in person. Or ask for a video call with the pet.

This is a great opportunity to see just how well trained they are (which is particularly important if it’s a dog) and assess how comfortable you are letting the animal stay.

4.   Set Boundaries

Before agreeing, consider setting boundaries around the tenant keeping a pet. For example, you are allowing them to have this pet only and any new ones need prior approval.

5.   Agree Terms

Whatever you decide to agree about letting your tenants keep a pet, make sure it’s documented in the terms of your lease.

Include information about what boundaries you set and what responsibilities the tenant has when it comes to cleaning up after the pet.

Conclusion

Allowing your tenants to keep a pet is ultimately your decision as a landlord. Numerous benefits are available to landlords if they allow pets, but you still need to ensure you’re always protecting yourself and your property.

For more advice on letting your property, our friendly team of agents at MyHaus are happy to help. If you need advice about renting your Brighton, Hove property, get in touch today on 01273 286788.