Lets With Pets
Paul Lee & Company is pleased to be part of the Dogs Trust Lets with Pets scheme, which aims to make the process of privately renting with pets easier for tenants while promoting the benefits of accepting pets to landlords.
For free advice and resources for landlords, and pet owners, please visit the Lets with Pets website - http://www.letswithpets.org.uk/letting-agency-case-studies/paul-lee-company
It’s a sad fact that pet owning tenants struggle to find rental property where pets are accepted. According to Dogs Trust’s Lets with Pets scheme landlords who exclude pet owners from their properties are missing out on a large share of the rental market as almost half of households in the UK currently own a pet. The benefits of accepting tenants with pets are the increased demand for your property that will attract responsible pet owning tenants who are more likely to stay for a longer term tenancy than tenants with no pets.
We suggest the following steps,
- Before you decide to accept a pet, speak with the prospective tenants and ask questions about their pet, such as its behaviour and who will look after it when they are at work.
- Ask for a pet reference from a previous landlord. Some tenants will also provide you with a pet CV.
- If you own a leasehold property, check your lease and that your freeholder and/or their managing agents will allow pets.
- Ask your letting agent to include a specific pet clause in the tenancy agreement.
- For Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) that fall within the Housing Act where The Tenant Fees Act 2019 applies in respect of the tenancy deposit amount. For tenancies that fall outside of the Housing Act the tenancy deposit can be agreed at higher amount if required, typically equal to eight weeks rent.
When looking for a property with your pet, you can improve your chances by being prepared and proving that you are a responsible pet owner.
Follow these 8 simple rules, they may just help both you and your pet to find your new home.
- Be honest don’t sneak your pet in without permission. Make us aware of your requirements as soon as possible. We may be aware of landlords who would consider pets but are not marketing their property yet.
- Give yourself plenty of time to find a pet-friendly property and begin searching at least 6-8 weeks before you need to move out of your current home.
- The more restrictive your search criteria are, the more difficult it will be for you to find a pet-friendly property. Try to be as flexible as possible on location and property type as this will increase your chances of finding somewhere for you and your pet to live.
- Write a CV for your pet. Provide us with as much information about your pet as you can. Include the contact details of your veterinary practice and someone who can care for your pet in an emergency. You could also include details of your pet’s last vaccinations and any flea and worming treatments they have had.
- Get a reference for your pet from a previous landlord or your vet. By providing a reference from your previous landlord, you can show that your pet is well behaved and has caused no problems at your previous property.
- Introduce your pet to your landlord. Meeting your pet in advance may put the landlord’s mind at ease.
- Many landlords are concerned about pets causing damage to their property or furnishings. For Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) that fall within the Housing Act where The Tenant Fees Act 2019 applies in respect of the tenancy deposit amount. For tenancies that fall outside of the Housing Act the tenancy deposit can be agreed at higher amount if required, typically equal to eight weeks rent. By offering to pay a higher deposit you will reassure the landlord that you will cover any damage that your pet may cause.
- If the landlord has given you written permission to keep a pet, make sure there is a pet clause in the tenancy agreement. A pet clause will be added to your tenancy agreement stating the type of animal and your pet’s name to show that the landlord agrees to allow your pet to live in the property. This will prevent problems from arising in future.
One last thought, on your moving day to make it as stress free as possible for both you and your pet, if you can ask a relative or friend to look after your pet for that day.