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Should you allow pets in your rental?


As a nation of animal lovers, 51% of adults own a pet in the UK. But despite this, just 7% of rental properties advertise pets welcome. With this in mind, should you allow pets in your rental? Before deciding, take a moment to weigh up the pros and cons.

Lettings expert Tracey Glenn will go through the pros and cons and highlight your rights and legal responsibilities. As a result, you can make an informed decision on whether to allow pets in your rental or not.

Pros of allowing pets in your rental

Your property will appeal to a broader audience and, as a result, could rent out quicker. With just 7% of rental properties advertised as pet-friendly, your property will have an edge over the competition if you allow pets.

A recent Rightmove survey reveals 31% of renters are willing to pay a premium to keep a pet. By allowing pets, you have the opportunity to earn more rental income. Our recommendation is to charge around £20pcm per pet.

Allowing pets will undoubtedly please your tenants and keep them happy. When a tenant is content in their home, they are more likely to want to stay there longer.  As a result, you spend less time and money finding new tenants.

We mustn’t underestimate the positive impact that pets have on humans. Pets are known to help with physical and mental well-being. Therefore, it is unsurprising that 94% of pet owners say that owning a pet makes them happy (PDSA PAW Report 2020). As a dog owner myself, I sympathise with tenants who struggle to rent somewhere because their pets aren’t allowed. After all, they are part of their family.

Cons of allowing pets in your rental

Whilst we would recommend considering pets, we understand why you might be hesitant. After all, pets are not always house trained and could cause damage to your property.

In the past, landlords would take a bigger deposit to cover the cost of damage caused by pets. However, since the Tenant Fees Act 2019, the maximum amount of deposit you can take is equivalent to 5 weeks’ rent (or six weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above). Therefore, you may feel that this is not sufficient to protect the property in case of damage. One way to combat this is to set aside the extra rent you charge for allowing pets. If there is any damage, money is readily available for repairs.

Are you still unsure? Before saying no, why not agree to meet the prospective tenant and their pet. By meeting them, you can put your mind at ease and decide. If you’re anything like me, the furry friends will charm their way into your property!

Is it illegal not to allow pets in your rental?

Not at the moment. Contrary to popular belief, you still have the right to choose whether to allow pets or not (some exceptions, e.g. guide dogs). The confusion stems from the Government’s model tenancy agreement which gives tenants the right to have a pet. However, most regulated agents use the Propertymark tenancy agreement, which doesn’t.

One thing to be aware of is a bill that has had its first reading in the House of Commons, which will give a responsible tenant the right to have a pet if passed through the usual Parliamentary process. As long as they are “well-behaved pet, which is chipped and vaccinated, and responds to basic commands”. But until this becomes law, you still have the choice.

For more lettings advice, feel free to get in touch.

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Date Posted

March 25, 2021

Article Category


Katy Storer

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