Should A Landlord Allow A Pet In Their Rental Property
Estate Agent in Strabane
8th May 2018
A question frequently asked by landlords to myself is whether or not they should allow pets in their property.
There are a number of things you ought to consider before making such a decision:
Accepting pets can often increase the demand for your property as there are very few on the market that does allow pets.
Accepting pets may lead to tenants staying longer due to the difficulties in securing another property that will accept pets.
The lack of rental accommodation for pet owners can often mean they make responsible tenants.
If you own a leasehold property you must first check that pets are allowed under the lease. If the lease does not permit pets, under no circumstances should a tenant bring a pet into the property.
It is important to actively manage your property as pets can cause damage. It is a good idea to ensure a clause is set out in your Agreement or addendum; highlighting what will happen should a pet cause any damage or be anti-social, and what you expect the tenant to do at the end of the tenancy i.e. ensure carpets are cleaned and de-odourised.
You may want to negotiate a higher deposit.
Are you allergic to pet hair? Accepting pets may prohibit you from entering the property to conduct any inspections or maintenance.
Ensure your building and contents insurance covers any accidental pet damage.
Ask the right questions before allowing the pet within the property:
- What type of pet does the tenant have?
- How many pets do they have?
- What is its size and age?
- Does the pet shed hairs?
- What happens to them during the day?
- What happens to them if the tenant is on holiday?
- Does the tenant have someone who can look after them in cases of emergency?
- Are they toilet/litter trained?
- Does the tenant have a reference from their previous landlord regarding the pet(s)?
It is very important that you assess the tenant and their pet(s) to ensure that you can trust them to look after their pet correctly, as well as your property.
Assistance dogs, such as guide dogs, are permitted in rental accommodation by law. Fail to allow this and you will fall short of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. The Office of Fair Trading also considers that a blanket ban on keeping pets in a property breaches unfair terms within the Consumer Contract Regulations 1999; and as such you should not include a “no pet(s)” clause within your agreement. However, you are able to include a clause whereby tenants must seek the landlord’s consent to have a pet(s) in the property. This is included in the Strabane Property Rental agreement.
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