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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Landlords charge extra rent for the ‘potential damage a pet can cause’

A growing number of buy-to-let landlords are charging what has been described as a ‘pet rent’ of up to £50 a month per animal, according to The Guardian. 

The report in the newspaper claims that some landlords are charging tenants with animals the additional rent as part of wider efforts to recoup costs following the introduction of the tenant fees ban. 

“In certain letting agencies it seems to be a standard term in agreements,” Darren Baxter, a renter currently searching for a new home in York, told The Guardian. 

“It seems exorbitant given the potential damage a pet can cause. We went to one place where they wanted a reference for the dog. That was ridiculous,” he added. 

One letting agent told the press that the new practice of charging extra for animals had only emerged since June when landlords were banned from charging cleaning fees at the end of a tenancy or demanding an additional pet deposit as a result of total deposits being capped at five weeks’ rent.

Prior to the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act 2019,  landlords often asked for pet deposits. Pet rents now mean they have no choice but to pay more.

“The only way to do it is to charge higher rent,” said Karolina Misiukiewicz of Elliot Oliver, an estate agent in Cheltenham.

Poll: Do you charge tenants with animals a higher rent

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • icon

    I am one of very few landlords in my area that will consider a pet, up to now I have taken an extra deposit, however as I am no longer allowed to take that extra deposit I will have to either say no pets or charge an increased rent.

  • Rob Mills

    Landlords take a greater risk when letting to tenants with pets, over the many years that I have dealt with lettings the damage by pets can be extensive and the new deposit restrictions have had implications on covering costs for damage, there is insurance available for tenants to take to give them some protection should their pet damage the landlords property but you cannot blame landlords for wanting to protect their investment, not only is damage a risk but higher wear and tear as well which of course cannot be insured and therefore needs to be taken into account over the long term.

  • Andrew McCausland

    Rents will continue to creep up for all tenants as a result of the raft of legislative changes introduced in recent years. This was entirely foreseeable and widely predicted. As ever in recent years, the government failed to listen.

  • John Gell

    I suppose a "pet rent" element brings supply and demand into balance again, pet-friendly properties being a scarce commodity in a market charcterised by increasing degree of pet ownership. We tend to take a higher deposit where a landlord agrees to accept pets, and also to make the acceptance conditional on a tenant-funded professional carpet clean at the end of the tenancy.

    On the plus side, our experience has been that pet-owing tenants tend to be careful and hoseproud and also tend to stay longer, leading to reduced reletting and void costs for our clients.

  • Paul Barrett

    Surely all a LL has to do is issue a 6 month AST at a higher rent including what would have been a pet deposit.
    After 6 months the LL can issue a new 6 month AST or add an appendix to the existing AST reducing the rent to what it would have been without a pet.
    When the tenant vacates providing everything is OK the LL could give the tenant a sum of money as a 'goodwill gesture' which might be the same amount as the pet deposit garnered from increased rent over the initial 6 month AST.
    No court could ever prove that a 'goodwill gesture' was ever a deposit!!

  • icon

    We do Pet rent but of course it’s inc to make total rent and never referred to. It’s quite simple you want a cheaper rent get rid of the dog. Our experience has shown 95% that pets leave a smell and carpets need replacing thy never really clean up properly. When a potential tenant applies with a Pet we simply say got to pay extra and they never complain. I’m sure Human Rights will try to now argue for animal rights when this gets more publicised.

    All this has come about because we are being squeezed by gov legislation Shelter & section 24

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    All the Govt have done by the Tenant fee ban is increased Rent for All Tenants,
    Instead of putting a cap on fees - so that a fair level could be set, and allowing wider discretion by a Landlord on a Deposit cap ( especially with pets ) - see Wales Tenant fee Ban, - They have seen the light, shame on MHCLG.
    I hope Tenant pressure groups like Shelter are proud of their achievement.
    Tenants will have a lot to ' thank ' ( sic ) them for !!!

    icon

    Shot in foot comes to mind.

     
  • icon

    I appreciate that this conversation is quite old now, but wanted to raise an issue. If a letting agent charges extra per month for a pet, in lieu of a pet damage deposit, can it be justified at the end of the tenancy that they also hold back some of the usual damage deposit to cover, for example, deodorising a carpet. Isn't this another example of the 'double dipping' that the industry has been of?

    Matthew Payne

    It depends on the numbers Geoff, how much more rent is paid during the tenancy and what the dilaps are at the end. Could be double dipping as you put it if all that needs attention is a carpet clean and the tenancy is a short one, but could be completley justified if a smelly old dog has trashed the place over a number of years, and any rent increase was marginal. Might be talking a complete redec and new carpets.

     
    icon

    I can see where you are coming from Geoff but the problem we have now is that often the deposit we are allowed to hold is no where near enough when a property has not been looked after well.

     
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