March 3, 2020   |   Jack Taylor

Pet Peeves: Why Landlords Should Reconsider No Pet Policy

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Having a pet can bring many benefits. They can help you keep fit, they can lower your stress levels, they can improve your immune system, prevent children from developing allergies, and so much more besides. 

However, many tenants are forced to get rid of their pets because landlords simply refuse to accept them. 

Currently, the government provides a model tenancy agreement which most landlords use as a template for their own contracts. This model contains various restrictions on pets and pet-owners but it’s due to change and the Home Secretary Robert Jenrick has decided to address the issue of pets in rental accommodation, calling for a compromise between tenants and landlords. 

Mr. Jenrick pointed out that pets can combat many of the ills of modern society and they can improve both physical and mental wellbeing.

“It’s a shame” he said, “that so many people can’t experience the benefits that keeping pets might have just because they live in a rented property.”

However, industry commentators have been quick to point out that this is yet another example of the government making the rental property market less attractive to investors. They’ve already put a cap on deposits, and now they are making it easier for people to keep animals in rented accommodation. Animals can cause a lot of damage, from cat and dog hair, fleas and mites, things dragged in from outside, and even the best-trained animals can sometimes have an accident. 

The National Landlords Association (the NLA) recommends that landlords consider the issue on a case by case basis. They point out that allowing pets can actually increase the appeal of a property to a wider range of tenants, like families. These tenants often stay for longer periods reducing gaps in occupancy.

Allowing pets in your property can have benefits and drawbacks. When you consider that nearly 50% of households in the UK keep a pet, then the business case becomes a little clearer and the NLA’s advice to consider each case individually makes a lot of sense.

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