Pets or no pets?

January 04, 2021

Should landlords be forced to let their tenants have pets? Lettings Director Michael Clarke believes that they should have the right to choose.

As many landlords are no doubt aware, M.P. Andrew Rosindell is introducing to Parliament legislation a new pet policy. This would mean landlords can only refuse tenants having pets if there was not enough evidence to support that they are a responsible pet owner.

“An investment landlord who has just purchased a brand new or renovated property, or spent time, effort, and money on refurbishment, should not be made to then place the condition of the accommodation at risk of damage from pets.

Furthermore, homeowners looking to rent out their family home or expecting to dwell within the property at a later date would be perfectly sensible to object to a dog or cat on the basis that a member of their family has an allergy to animal fur, especially those with respiratory issues. What’s more, with exotic pets, no matter how responsible owners are, they occasionally escape from their tanks, and should a landlord’s family member suffer fear of the creature, this would be highly problematic."

“As a pet owner myself, I know what damage pets can do. Even the most well-behaved pets can cause damage if circumstances allow. For example, a cat accidentally trapped in the bedroom will quite naturally claw up carpets in an attempt to escape. Many breeds of dogs are natural chewers especially when they are young, and can cause damage to skirting and walls. Dogs might well be perfectly lovable, but they can also protectively bark a lot, or dig holes by the fence, so could even cause problems with neighbours.

Obviously, some well-behaved pets are very low risk, especially if the home offers practical finishes such as a courtyard garden and durable hard flooring. These homes are often highly sought after by potential tenants. If a landlord chooses to allow pets for responsible tenants, then it would be advisable that they have specialist insurance that covers expenses.

I personally think that it should be the landlord’s choice. It might well be the tenant’s home, but ultimately, the property does belong to the landlord.

Landlords are already experiencing added pressure with the current state of affairs and personally, I would forego these restrictions. It is a shame that not all pet-loving tenants can have pets at home, but ultimately, the choice should remain with the property owner.”

Michael and his team are available for advice and further information on (01252) 514000, [email protected].

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