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Despite 48% of the population owning a pet, many landlords are still missing out on a large and lucrative part of the rental market. Owning a pet is a lifelong commitment. All pet owners have a duty to care for their pets responsibly both inside and outside of the home.
In a survey conducted by Dogs Trust, out of 6,000 people, 1 in 3 could not find a property that would accept their furry friends.
Non-pet owners spend an average of 50 days looking for a rental property, while people with pets (that’s 53% of our population!) searched for two months to over a year.
Some landlords have also found that their tenants have actually been forced to hide their pets. Others have even settled for living in caravans or settling for substandard properties just to keep their pet.
I mean, put yourself in their shoes, would you give up your best friend
Dogs Trust are campaigning for landlords to take a ‘Pets Considered’ approach rather than simply rejecting all pets. There’s a common misconception that they will damage furniture, fixtures and fittings, or leave flea infestations when they depart.
At our lettings agency in Newport, for our landlords who will consider or accept pets, we have a system in place where tenants are happy to pay an extra £100 on their bond. We even write into our tenancy agreements that the tenants must get the property cleaned professionally before they leave.
Even a strict ‘pets’ clause in contracts could cover every eventuality; from damaged carpets and curtains to scratched floors, and from flea infestations to territorial spraying – with no ‘save wear and tear’ caveat for damage or wear caused by pets, but instead a presumption of replacing new for old when necessary.
We ask our prospective tenants a series of questions whilst taking their details:
- Followed by “Do you have any pets?”
This proves how present animals are in people’s lives.
We have found that if we stipulate these conditions beforehand then many tenants are willing to do anything (within reason) to keep those pets with them. You would too, wouldn’t you? Considering pets could get you quality tenants quicker and save you money in the long run with the right contract and agreements.