Could renting to pet owners be the best option?

Could renting to pet owners be the best option?

 

Cats

When it comes to pets, a lot of landlords don’t want to consider the hassle of renting to tenants who have them. Many letting agents will also advise landlords not to accept pets due to the possibility of more repairs or issues with the property when the tenant comes to leave.

However, renting to tenants who own pets may not be as bad as many people think. While there may be an increased risk of damage to a property, there are also a number of benefits to opening properties to potential tenants who have animals.

Here are five reasons it could be a good idea to discuss the possibility of renting to pet owners with more landlords:

More demand

Finding a property that allows pets or at least will consider them on a case-by-case basis is not an easy task. There are so few properties on the market that advertise as pet-friendly that demand is significantly increased.

Not only does this mean there is a greater pool of prospective tenants to choose from, it also results in properties not being vacant for very long. Pet owners who are looking to rent know they need to move quickly once they have found a place that suits them so they’ll snap a property up as quickly as they can.

This is why it is a good idea to make it clear in listings that pets are allowed or can be considered.

Tenants stay longer

Most pet owners look for places with long-term leases because they know what a struggle it is to find a suitable property. This means they are likely to stay for longer, which reduces management costs and means you won’t be advertising the property again in six months’ time.

So long as the landlord is happy for the tenants to stay on, pet owners are more likely to put roots down and remain in a single property for years.

Responsible tenants

Because pet owners want to stay in properties for longer periods of time and avoid having to search for somewhere else that allows animals, they don’t want to do anything that could jeopardise their lease. They are often some of the most responsible tenants as they don’t want to cause problems that could mean they need to move out.

Similarly, if their pet does cause damage, there is a greater chance that they will address it themselves compared to those without pets in order not to be seen as problematic tenants.

Blanket bans are classed as unfair

The Office of Fair Trading considers complete pet bans in rental properties as unfair due to the Unfair Terms and Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. This means that landlords shouldn’t have a ‘no pets’ clause in their tenancy agreements or risk discrimination complaints.

Instead, they should always consider pets when looking for a new tenant or existing tenants should, by contract, ask for consent before bringing a pet into the property. However, unreasonably withholding consent can also cause problems.

Courtesy Gary Whittaker for Rentman