Increase in pet popularity means more damage to rental units – claim

A survey by The Tenancy Deposit Service suggests that half of landlords have experienced damage to their rental properties by pets.

And it warns that a spike in pet ownership during the Coronavirus crisis has led to an increased risk of damage to rental properties.

The survey, which involved some 1,500 landlords, also found that 70 per cent feel that tenants should not automatically be allowed to keep a pet in a rental property.

Despite that, 82 per cent of landlords still allow tenants to keep a pet in their rental.

The poll, which involved 1,500 landlords, also showed that two thirds would want to be able to raise the rent if they were forced by law to allow their tenant to keep a pet in their property.

However – with pet deposits banned as part of the Tenant Fees Ban – just over half of landlords surveyed said they would be prepared not to raise the rent if pet deposits were reinstated.

Prior to the ban being introduced in June 2019, a third of landlords asked their tenants for an additional pet deposit. Only four per cent charged a higher rent and 63 per cent did neither.

According to the veterinary charity PDSA, half of UK adults own a pet. Nearly 11m are cat owners and 9.9m own a dog.

“There is a potential conflict here between pet ownership among tenants and landlords who are concerned about the impact of animal damage. The issue is that landlords are unable to introduce additional fees because of the Fee Ban” explains TDS chief executive Steve Harriott.

“We want to know what people think about this. Do they want pet deposits reinstated or could rents be raised to cover any additional costs that may be incurred for a renter keeping an animal at the property?

“Our findings show there is an ongoing  debate on this issue, but until it’s finalised, we recommend all tenants are open and honest when it comes to their pet ownership and communicate with their landlord so a compromise between both parties can be sought.”

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