It is well known that more tenants in the UK’s private rented sector would like to be able to keep pets in rented homes but landlords who do so need to be cautious, it is suggested.
According to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) as more people rent for longer periods of time, there are likely to be a greater number of renters who have pets.
The most recent English Housing Survey released in January revealed that private renting now accounts for a fifth of all households and is the largest housing tenure in London. The annual study also found that 27% of tenants have been renting for 10 or more years.
‘It’s clear that the number of long term lifestyle renters is rising. This means that more tenants will want to keep pets and therefore be on the lookout for a property which they can truly call home for a prolonged period,’ said Danny Zane, Chair of the AIIC.
‘It therefore comes as no surprise if more landlords decide to let to tenants with pets as it will widen their pool of prospective renters in an increasingly competitive market,’ he pointed out.
The AIIC says, however, that these landlords must take the necessary steps to protect their investments. These measures should include taking out a more comprehensive landlord insurance policy, increasing the property’s damage deposit and ensuring that an independent and professionally compiled inventory is carried out.
‘Pets can undoubtedly cause more damage to a property, not to mention additional odours and mess. Therefore, more comprehensive landlord insurance can provide the required cover and peace of mind should an incident occur at the property, while a higher deposit will help to ensure that tenants are committed to maintaining the property,’ Zane explained.
But he said that landlords will need to be wary of charging higher deposits as from next spring, it is likely that damage deposits will be capped at a maximum of six weeks’ rent.
‘Crucially, landlords must also make sure that they enlist the services of a professional independent inventory clerk. Independent inventories, which detail a property’s condition at the start and end of a rental contract, provide landlords and agents with peace of mind and protect tenants from unreasonable deductions at the end of a tenancy,’ Zane added.
Over the last year, the AIIC has been campaigning for the government to consider compulsory independent inventory reporting in privately rented properties.