Did you know puppy registrations rose 26% during lockdown?
One surprising outcome from the Coronavirus lockdown was a huge increase in pet ownership, particularly dogs. According to the Kennel Club, registrations of new puppies rose by 26% in the second quarter of 2020*.
But if one of your tenants asks for permission to keep a pet in the property, do you know how you’ll react?
The benefits of permitting pets
Allowing pets in your property may seem like a risk but permitting tenants to keep a pet can set you apart from other landlords. It may improve your relationship with your current tenants, and even add a premium to the rental value you can achieve.
According to The Dogs Trust, over half of all households owns a pet. This means by excluding pets, you’re missing out on a huge part of the rental market. Allowing pets can increase the demand for your property, and attract responsible tenants looking for a long term let.
It’s also good for your tenants’ wellbeing and happiness. Head of Health and Welfare at the Kennel Club, Bill Lambert states: “Our dogs are certainly helping us through the pandemic, providing a welcome and happy distraction as COVID-19 causes anxiety, suffering and disruption across the nation.”
If you’re concerned a pet in the property might unleash potential problems, we’re here to help you with some practical points to help make your lets with pets a success.
1. Know the law
If your property is leasehold, you'll need to ask other leaseholders if they're ok with pets. Check to see if this is the case. Even if you want to accommodate your tenant’s wishes, you might not be able to. However, if your tenant needs an assistance dog, you must allow them to live in the property.
2. Double check your insurance
Ask your current insurance provider if your policy covers accidental pet damage. Landlord insurance doesnt usually have this feature as standard. You might need a different type of policy to make sure you're covered.
3. Get your terms down in writing
Make sure your boundaries are set out in writing. Whether you don’t want any animals bred in the property, or you only want the pet you agreed to and no more. Make these clear, concise and share them with your tenant on a document you can both sign and keep.
If you do agree to your tenant having a puppy, the Kennel Club has some great advice. Their campaign #bepuppywise gives great advice, from how to buy a puppy to how to train a pandemic pet.
For more tips on having a harmonious tenancy with a pet, read our previous blog: ‘how to have the pawfect pet tenancy’.