It was good news for our four-legged friends and their owners this month as under a long-promised overhaul of the private rental sector in England tenants will be given the legal right to request to keep a pet in their home, which the landlord cannot unreasonably refuse.
So, does this open up the market for landlords who might have previously reduced their potential pool of tenants? And what other considerations need to be taken if your property now needs to house pets? Can landlord insurance help?
Research from the Landlord’s Association shows that 32% of tenants are likely to pay an extra £24 more per month if a property is advertised as ‘pets allowed’. So, setting aside concerns such as possible property damage, the lingering smell of a canine companion, and the potential nuisance to neighbours if the animal is noisy or aggressive, there are financial and long-term plus points of accepting our furry friends. And with an estimated 33% of us owning a dog – some 13 million recorded in 2022 (PFMA), boosted by the Covid puppy phenomenon – you really could be barking up the right tree by hosting tenants with dogs.
How to protect your property when accepting pets…
The good news is that you do have a level of control over the types of pet you are happy to permit in a property. A large dog may not be suitable for a small flat, while you may be happy with smaller dogs or cats.
You may want to charge a higher deposit and add a ‘pet clause’ to the tenancy agreement which will give you the chance to set out the rules regarding pets. Including a non-refundable pet payment to have the property professionally cleaned when they depart will also ensure that your property does not deter future occupants. Go through this carefully with your tenant to make sure the arrangement is suitable for you both.
And, actually meeting your new four-legged tenant might be a good idea to provide you with peace of mind. After all, you’d interview a human – why not get to meet Bailey, Buddy or Bella?
Are you properly protected with landlord insurance?
Whether you manage a block of flats or a housing portfolio, you protect them all with a range of tailored landlord insurance policies to accommodate all eventualities and tenant types.
To keep costs down, with The Insurance Octopus, you get to personalise your landlord insurance policy, only taking out the cover you need.
We can build packages for a variety of landlords – such as those who manage and rent out apartments, terraced housing or bungalows. Providing a stable foundation for your business, get cover for life’s uncertainties or anticipated ‘pet problems’.
With flexible payment options and a range of insurers to choose from, along with being a Feefo Platinum awarded company – you get peace of mind knowing that you’re being provided with policies based on your own unique needs (and those of your human and canine tenants).
Property rental requires investment in time and money, which is why a bespoke landlord insurance policy will help to protect your financial security. Find out more on our Landlord Insurance page or, for more insurance resources, check out our blog!