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  • Olivia Thomas

Are pets a risk worth taking in your rental property?

Tenants with pets can be a frightening prospect for many Landlords, and there are, of course many reasons to justify this uncertainty. But is it really worth the worry?

The Risks

Pets will always be a risk to a rental property, they can cause damage and make the property smell. Which is why many landlords in Amber Valley do not accept them. They can also hinder maintenance work from be completed easily and efficiently. Tenants without pets often allow maintenance work to be carried out while they are at work, helping things to be dealt with quickly. But if they have a pet they will often want to be present when work is carried out at the property which can mean it takes a lot longer to find a day when everyone can be there. When the decision is made to accept pet owners as tenants, consider creating a more defined screening process to try and lower these risks and keep the rental property well maintained. Make sure regular inspections are done on the property, we suggest every three months. If the pet has lived in rented accommodation before many pet owners will ask their previous landlord for a reference outlining the behaviour of their pet whilst in their property, which can help you decide whether or not to accept it and also if the pet is a dog you may wish to add a pet clause into your tenancy agreement stating that the tenant must have the carpets professionally cleaned on their departure to ensure no odours are left behind.

The Benefits

It is common for Amber Valley Landlords not to allow pets in their rental properties, but this can provide a lucrative opportunity for the landlords that do. By accepting pet owners as tenants an increased demand for the property can be created. This combined with the tenant’s struggle to find another property in Amber Valley that also allows pets can often mean that these tenants are likely to stay longer, creating lower tenant turnover and less stress for property owners long-term. It is also sometimes the case that tenants with pets can be the most responsible tenants, because these tenants are less likely to act in ways that may put their tenancy at risk. Therefore, allowing pets can mean increased demand for the property, making this a good decision for many rental properties that are well suited. To get the most out of this demand, make sure advertisements clearly state your Amber Valley property is pet-friendly to avoid confusion.

Tips for Choosing Tenants with Pets:

Though accepting pets does increase the demand for the rental property, clear guidelines should be created and communicated, prior top a tenant placing an application, to ensure the future condition of the property isn’t compromised.

  • Decide what pets are and aren’t allowing into the property. Be as specific as needed, whether it’s stated only cats or that only dogs under a certain height are acceptable. Plus, this screening process can sometimes help future tenants during their rental decisions who are concerned about past pets in the property.

  • Also always ask what kind of pet they have, this may sound silly but I once knew a landlord who didn’t ask specifically and the tenant moved into the property a very large fish tank and fish but when asked “You said you didn’t have pets?” The tenants responded “I didn’t think fish counted as a pet” so always be sure everyone is aware about what is and what isn’t allowed.

  • Consider limiting the number of pets to help lower the risk of property damage.

  • Meet the pet if you can. It is one thing to be told they have a good pet, and another to witness it yourself. Most pet owners will be fine with this, and for peace of mind this may be a good option for many Landlords.

Tips for Reducing Risk After Choosing a Pet Owner:

  • If possible, ask for a written reference from a previous property owner they have rented from. This is a good way to learn more about their pet’s behaviour and if the tenants are responsible owners that will look after the property. Property managers can organise this to help making the screening process more efficient.

  • Include a pet policy clause in the Tenancy Agreement to outline the guidelines for tenants keeping a pet on the property eg. how many pets, what kind of pets and also how they clean the property at the end of the tenancy – when in doubt on how to implement this, ask a property manager for help.

  • Ask for an increased bond of to help lower the risk of having pets in the property.

  • Make sure you have a detailed and photographic inventory compiled at the start of the tenancy showing the property in the condition you wish it to be returned in.

  • Complete regular inspections, either personally or through a property manager to ensure the pets and owners are not causing any damage on the property. If damage has been caused while the tenants are still housed within the property, your property manager can begin the remedy process to help cover the cost of the damages. Otherwise, the bond can be used to pay the costs of repairs if the damage is discovered after the tenant have already moved out of the property.

Always remember not every rental property is suitable for pets and not every landlord will accept them. But if it is possible for a landlord to allow pets at their property then it is worth considering. More and more renters now have pets and therefore you don’t want to isolate your property from a large proportion of potential tenants.

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