Pets in Rented Property

Published: 17/06/2022

There is no denying that some pets can bring with them an increased risk of damage to property, such as chewing skirting boards, scratching floors, odours, pet hair etc however, as pet ownership in the UK rises, landlords are increasingly faced with the decision on whether to allow pets in rented properties. There are a few simple steps that both tenants and landlords can take to try and avoid pet related problems if a pet is permitted.

  • Ensure a pet clause is included in the tenancy agreement. This should be specific to the pet/s permitted and clearly state the tenants responsibilities for keeping the pet in the property, such as cleaning requirements, and pest treatments.
  • Take details of the pet in question. Prior to making any decisions, it is perfectly acceptable for the landlord to ask for further details about the pet. This could include type/breed, size of pet, whether it is noisy or whether it has been trained. If possible, obtain a ‘pet reference’ from a previous landlord.
  • Obtain details of a friend/family member who could care for the pet in the event of an emergency.
  • Make sure the inventory is comprehensive. This will provide clear evidence at the end of the tenancy as to the condition of the property when compared with the checkout report. Don’t forget outside space, such as the condition of the lawn, if applicable.
Some tenants now offer ‘pet profiles’ to ease the landlords mind. This could include full details of your pet, including name and age and whether the pet has been treated for fleas, when it was vaccinated and so on. A step further would be to offer to meet the landlord with your pet so you can provide reassurance regarding the training and behaviour of your animal.

It is important to note that landlords must, by law, allow people with disabilities who require an assistance dog, to have one inside the property.

Finally, tenants and landlords (or their agent) should agree regular inspections to check on the condition of the property. This can reduce the chance of a dispute over pet related damages at the end of the tenancy. As long as all parties are clear on their obligations and expectations, then allowing a pet in the property could ensure the tenant stays for longer, resulting in more certainty for both landlord and tenant.
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