As new research shows that over three quarters of UK private renters think that having a pet would negatively affect their ability to rent a property, Chestertons has teamed up with Dogs Trust to champion the charity’s ‘Lets with Pets’ scheme and is now offering London’s largest selection of rental properties where pets are considered.
Having recently commissioned a YouGov survey, Chestertons reveals that 77% of UK private renters think that having a pet would negatively affect their ability to rent a property and 76% think it would be difficult to find a landlord that is willing to accept pets. Responding to the challenges that pet-owners face when looking for a new home, Chestertons is now working closely with Dogs Trust’s ‘Lets with Pets’ scheme to offer guidance and free advice to tenants and is encouraging landlords to consider tenants with pets wherever possible.
As a key part to this initiative, Chestertons has added new functionality to its website that allows visitors to search specifically for properties where pets are considered – there are currently nearly 200 to choose from, with prices ranging from £325 to £35,000 per week.
In association with Lets with Pets, Chestertons has also produced two comprehensive guides to renting with pets, containing valuable advice and tips for landlords and tenants to help negotiate a problem-free rental agreement.
Richard Davies, Chestertons’ Head of Residential, comments: “We are regularly contacted by both pet-owners who are having difficulties finding a home to rent and landlords that are nervous about accepting pets in their properties. However, we believe that with the information, advice and guidance that we are now offering as part of our involvement with the Lets with Pets scheme, we can address these difficulties and help significantly increase the number of rental properties available for pet-owning tenants.”
Clare Kivlehan at Dogs Trust adds: “There is a growing demand for pet-friendly lettings as our Lets with Pets website has registered a large increase in visitors over the last year, with a quarter (24%) of all visitors coming from London. Chestertons is one of London’s largest estate agents and having them on board adds real weight to our initiative. We are hoping our partnership will help us unite pet-owners and pet-friendly landlords and raise further awareness of the scheme.”
Chesterton’s top 6 tips for letting to people with pets
1. Encourage tenants to stay for longer
Pet-owner tenants know how difficult it is to find rented accommodation that allows pets so they are more likely to stay longer than tenants with no pets.
2. Check the terms of your freehold and lease
Before you give permission for a pet to be kept in your property, it’s important to check your title deeds and lease. Even though you own your property, there may be certain stipulations in the deeds which may prevent you from giving permission for tenants to keep pets.
3. Ask the right questions about the pet
Deciding that you are willing to consider pets does not mean that you must accept every pet. We recommend you consider each tenant and their pet on a case by case basis.You should also think about how many pets you would be willing to accept in your property. It’s reasonable to limit the number of pets, depending on the size of your property, but remember pets often benefit from living in pairs so do not automatically enforce a “one pet only” rule.
4. Ask for a pet reference
Chesterton recommends that tenants provide a reference for their pets from a previous landlord if they have rented before. The key points that should be covered in a pet reference are: The name and breed of the pet; how long did the tenant live in the previous property with their pets; does the referee consider the tenant to be a responsible pet owner; were the tenant’s pets well behaved; did their pets cause any damage to the property; did their pets cause a nuisance to neighbours or visitors?
5. Include a pet clause in your tenant’s agreement
Once you have decided to rent your property to a tenant with a pet you should include a pet clause in your tenancy agreement. Chesterton suggests something to the effect of:“It is further agreed between the Landlord and Tenant, that the Landlord grants permission for the Tenant to keep The Pet in The Property for the duration of the Tenancy and the Tenant hereby undertakes and agrees to remedy or pay for any damage caused to The Property and/or contents of The Property, including replacing carpets and fumigating. The Property at the termination of The Tenancy which shall have been caused by The Pet residing in The Property. For the avoidance of doubt any such damage caused shall not be deemed to be fair wear and tear. The Landlord reserves the right to withdraw this permission at any time”
6. Asking for a higher deposit and professional clean
There are a few steps you can take to minimise the risk of damage to your property:
You can ask your tenant for a higher deposit to cover any damage that may be caused by their pets. Many landlords ask for the equivalent of an extra two weeks rent on top of their normal deposit.
All Chestertons tenancy agreements state that Tenants should professionally clean the property when they move out. This should include professionally cleaning all soft furnishings and carpets and treating the property for fleas and mites.
Check with your insurance company whether your landlord building and contents insurance covers accidental pet damage or whether they offer an additional cover for tenants with pets.
3 more estate agents who work with Lets with Pets:
1 Mount Grange Heritage mountgrangeheritage.co.uk
2 Knight Frank knightfrank.co.uk
3 Martin & Co martinco.com