The growing debate over whether pets should be allowed in private rental property has attracted the attention of activists’ group Generation Rent.
In a blog entry on its website over the weekend the group says: “If you are already renting a property and you would like a pet, the first thing you should do is contact your landlord about it. There are some pros to letting out to pet owners you should mention in this contact. It indicates that you are more likely to stay in the property long-term, meaning the landlord will not have to go through the costly and time-consuming process of putting the property on the market.”
Generation Rent then quickly comes to the subject of money and says: “If they [landlords] mention the risk of damage to the property, remind them that the deposit you will have already paid them would cover this damage. However, do not forget that the landlord cannot claim back any money from the security deposit for fair wear and tear, so they should not claim back any of the deposit if you simply own a pet that has not caused damage during your tenancy.”
In recent months there has been growing discussion over whether pets should routinely be allowed in private rental flats and houses.
The government’s new model tenancy agreement makes it a default condition that landlords should allow pets so long as they are owned responsibly and well-behaved; the new agreement is not compulsory and is not thought to be widely used.
Generation Rent suggests ways to demonstrate responsible ownership and good pet behaviour.
It says: “Firstly, you need to go to your vet and ask them for a letter confirming your animal is neutered and in receipt of regular flea/worm treatment, that their vaccines are up to date and (if it’s a cat or dog) that they are microchipped.
“Secondly, if you have a good relationship with your current landlord, you can also ask them for a pet reference confirming they’ve never had any pet related issues during your tenancy.
“Finally, take pictures of your current property, especially the carpets, soft furnishings (if not yours) and wall coverings to show there’s no pet damage.”