So you have a pet, or getting a pet! That's exciting but the worry is your landlord? You're right there is more liability for the tenant when owning a pet and this might discourage some landlords. Truthfully, however, there are positives that landlords recognise that might attract them to letting out their properties to pet owners.
Pool of tenants
The rental market can be tough so every advantage matters. This means landlords opening their doors to as many tenants as they can. If landlords decide to neglect pet owners as tenants they're turning their back on a large proportion of the rental market. Many landlords will appreciate this and will prefer to open their doors to a larger pool of tenants.
It's no secret that pets can have a boosting effect on morale. There are studies that show the positive effect animals have on us. Take a dog for example, they can be used for support for individuals struggling emotionally. Subsequently, a tenant with a pet is more likely to be happier. A happy tenant can make life much easier for a landlord.
Getting a pet is a massive decision because of the responsibility that comes with it. Luckily we won't delve into the pros and cons on getting a pet, we can assume you have one. Perfect! Then you are already responsible. This added responsibility can look favourably on the type of person you are when looking for a property. A responsible individual with a pet is likely to pay their rent on time.
It's natural for landlords to worry. Unfortunately, pets can bring added stress. Pets can be messy, noisey and, if the property is furnished, leave the furniture in a poor state. These problems include odours left behind, scratches and chew marks, and bird whistles or dog barks. Fortunately, there are terms and conditions that can help landlords overcome these problems.
Before the Tenant Fees Act 2019, a landlord would require an upfront fee (separate to your security deposit) to cover any damages that may occur during your stay at the property, a pet deposit.
Since June 1st 2019, landlords have lost the right to require this fee (which was refundable) and have started to add extra onto rental prices to ensure financial security (pet rent). It seems to be a disadvantage of the new act that was implemented to help tenants save on costs. It's important to check with your estate agent which pets apply under the pet rent charge as some only include 'clawed animals'.
It's a tightrope, pets can be expensive for both the tenant and landlord. The government has issued the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to try to help lower costs of rentals and push the advantage to the tenant. Pet fees, however, have managed to swerve the act because landlords want insurance for their properties. This is likely to be an ongoing battle and we may need to remind ourselves, they're definitely worth the cost!