Renting with pets: Everything you can expect as a tenant

What do tenants in 2019 want?

Well, according to new research, pet-friendly rental properties are the biggest desire for tenants these days.

The research, by finance company Landbay, revealed 14% of renters rated pets being welcome as their most important requirement from a rental property.

Indeed, many renters placed their pets higher than an unfurnished rental and a garden.

But despite that, many landlords are still not keen on having pets in their rental properties and houses to rent with pets allowed can be few and far between.

So, what can you do as a tenant?

And what kind of rules can you expect from a landlord that does allow pets?

How to rent with pets

There is pet-friendly property to rent out there.

But one thing any potential landlord will want is peace of mind and certainty.

That’s the case with tenants themselves and that’s why Martin & Co’s tenant screening service for our landlords is so in-depth.

But the landlord themselves will want reassurance that you will take good care of their property – and if you have a pet, you’ll may need to convince them that allowing it in the property is a good idea.

But how do you do it?

Document your pet’s history

Show your landlord that you are a caring and considerate pet owner by producing veterinary paperwork and a record of vaccinations.

Knowing that you can take great care of your pet should help put their mind at rest about the care you will take of their property.

Produce references

If you’ve rented a property with your pet before and it went without a hitch, don’t leave without grabbing a reference.

The best way to show a new landlord that you can be trusted to keep a pet in their property is by proving you’ve done it successfully before.

If you are nearby, you could even ask your new landlord to visit you in your current rental to see how well maintained it is and that your pet is house-trained.

Pet damage insurance

Even if your pet is the best-behaved animal in the world, there’s always a chance he or she could cause damage to your landlord’s property.

So, in order to show your landlord that you care about their home and you’re serious about renting from them, consider offering to cover the cost of a landlord insurance policy against pet damage.

Since the tenant fee ban came into force in June, landlords and agents are permitted to only take a deposit of five or six times the monthly rent, depending on the annual rent amount, so an increased deposit amount is now no longer possible.

Offer to have the property professionally cleaned

Pets, some breeds of dog in particular, do shed hair and most animals can make a mess from time-to-time.

So, if your landlord is concerned about how clean their property will be at the end of your tenancy, offer to pay to have it professionally cleaned.

Many cleaning companies are specialists in removal of pet hair, dirt and animal odour and your landlord is sure to appreciate the gesture.

Protect yourself

Introducing a pet without permission will only end one way – eviction.

If your landlord is simply not open to having a pet in their property, don’t try to sneak one in through the back door.

If your tenancy agreement states that pets are not allowed, then you must either abide by that or find a more suitable property that does allow pets.

Breaching a tenancy agreement by housing a pet in your rental property will almost certainly see a landlord take steps to remove you.

Get permission in writing

If your landlord will allow you to have a pet in their property, that’s great!

But don’t just take their word for it.

Ensure that it is written into your tenancy agreement and check the clause before signing.

Flats and pets

Even if a landlord insists they are happy to let their rental flat to you and your pet, the final decision may not be theirs.

Unless the landlord owns the freehold of the building where their rental flat is, there’s a strong possibility the freeholder will have a clause in the lease saying pets are not allowed.

But pet-friendly flats to rent do exist.

It’s simply a case of being sure pets are allowed.

If you are renting through a lettings agent, they should be able to clarify if pets are permitted by the freeholder.

If you are looking for a rental property that accepts pets, get in touch with your local Martin & Co office.

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