Should landlords rent to tenants with pets?

Should landlords rent to tenants with pets?For many landlords, the subject of accepting tenants with pets is often like a red rag to a bull. For as long as I can remember, landlords have instantly rejected tenants with pets when they apply for property. As a Lettings Agency in Southend we know the local market. Demand for rental property is so high that owners can just about take their pick of prospective tenants. So as you might expect, it has become even harder for pet owners to find properties where landlords will allow tenants to live with their furry friends.

Countless individuals own and love their pets, so why should this exclude them from renting a home? People who own an animal will often be a more considerate and measured tenant. They know their pet and the potential for damage, so there is a chance they will go out of their way to ensure this does not become an issue.

Furthermore, pet owners are often prepared to pay a supplement to ensure their pets can live with them. Landlords who are prepared to let to dog and cat owners are not as easy to find as you might think, so ‘pets allowed’ properties can come at a premium. Entering this market as a buy-to-let landlord will offer you the potential to obtain a greater yield on your property, which can only ever be a good thing.

Lets with pets versus other groups of tenants

While many landlords will be worried about damage to a property caused by pets, the truth is that there are other groups of tenants that can often lead to far more problematic issues.

It’s true that pets may from time to time chew or scratch at furnishings, but many landlords will find that when they let to families, children regularly cause far more damage than pets. Whether it’s drawing on walls or spilling drinks on carpets, children have accidents and damage is something landlords need to accept with this demographic.

The same can be said for those looking to let to students. This has become a competitive marketplace in the past few years thanks to demand from tenants and the very high yields that can be achieved. But landlords looking to let to students rather than pet owners also face the potential for considerable damage.

Students are often away from home for the first time, living in a large group and generally looking to enjoy themselves. This often leads to a lack of maintenance and the potential for damages to be caused throughout the home.

As a trusted local Lettings Agent, I would suggest landlords do not automatically rule out a prospective tenant simply because that person owns a pet. If you’re offered a choice between two tenants, one with a glittering set of references from past landlords and dog, or a second tenant with less history but no pet, it makes sense to rent to the person who has a track record of being a trustworthy and respectful tenant.

Martin Ransom is Office Manager at Pace, an independent Southend on Sea Letting Agent.

With nearly 25 years experience in the property industry, Martin is well placed in his role as Branch Manager for Pace.

After joining the business in 2010 Martin took it upon himself to foster excellent customer service among the team and this continues to position Pace as a leader in its field today.