Demand for pet-friendly homes is soaring. According to a recent report by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, 3.2 million households have bought pets over the last year, meaning the country now has 17 million pet-owning homes. Meanwhile, the Dogs Trust found almost 80% of pet owners struggle to find pet-friendly accommodation. This means as a landlord, especially at a time when Covid-19 has fuelled the desire to escape city life for rural living, you can open the door to a far greater pool of potential tenants by being pet-friendly.

It may seem a scary prospect, but there are many benefits for allowing all kinds of creatures great and small – within reason of course! The Hancock & Partners Lettings Department outlines what the advantages are for landlords, plus recommend extra measures you can take to ensure you are protected should anything go wrong…

The Benefits

Shorter Void Periods

As a landlord, there’s nothing worse than not having anybody covering your monthly expenses, and one of the main reasons you won’t be able to find a suitable tenant in West Sussex is because you’re not offering a pet-friendly home. By allowing pets, you are opening the door to a far greater number of people and therefore minimising the risk of lengthy void periods. This is especially true if you own a family-sized house. You’re also more likely to let your property quickly because they are in such high demand.

Responsible Tenants

Generally, people with pets are responsible people which means they are more likely to respect your property. They also understand how hard it is to find a pet-friendly home, and therefore tend to go the extra mile to be the perfect tenant for you.

Long-term Tenants

Tenants with pets are more likely to look for somewhere they can live long-term to spare the nightmare of trying to find another suitable home. This is great for a landlord because it reduces the worry and stress of finding a new tenant every year.

Higher Deposits

Those with pets are usually happy to pay a higher deposit to provide reassurance to a landlord that any potential damage costs as a result of their furry friends can be covered.

So What Are Our Top Tips Before Saying ‘Yes to Pets?’

Before taking the plunge, it’s important to consider the following before adopting a pet-friendly approach. You don’t need to say ‘yes’ to everybody…

References
Ask for pet references so you can see whether there were any issues during previous tenancies. These can come from a former landlord or even the vet. It’s also worth asking the vet for up-to-date medical records to see whether they are responsible pet owners and the animals are in good health.

Meet The Pets
Whether virtual or physical, you can ask to meet the pet(s). Any good responsible tenant will be happy for this to happen so that you can see for yourself their nature, cleanliness and health.

Speak With Potential Tenants
If a physical visit isn’t possible, a responsible tenant will be happy to chat to you over the phone about their animals. No matter your concern, often a good chat can go a long way to providing that reassurance. For example, if allergies are a concern for you, not all dogs shed their hair, such as poodles or bichon frisés. Or perhaps it’s about the size of a dog and concerns about whether your property is big enough to accommodate them.

Ask For A Deep Clean
If it’s not already in your tenancy agreement, we would advise having a clause stating tenants with pets must arrange and pay for a professional deep clean of the property when they leave. This will help address any issues with hair and smell, and any good tenant will understand this.

Pet-Proof Your Tenancy Agreement
Make sure your letting agent includes all the necessary protective measures in your tenancy agreement that is specific to the type of pet.

Insurance
Check your insurance policy covers accidental pet damage, and if it doesn’t, have it amended.

Find Out More
If you have any questions about any of the information provided in this blog, the expert team here at Hancock & Partners is on hand to help. You can get in touch here today.