Industry trade bodies Propertymark and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) have recently reported that pet damage is extremely common in properties where landlords rent to tenants with pets and the costs are difficult to recoup.

  • 57% of landlords and agents said they were unable to recoup the costs of damage by pets.
  • 29% recovered costs from the standard rental deposit.
  • 11.8% recovered costs through a special pet deposit.
  • Unfortunately, only 0.5% were able to reclaim through an insurance policy.

How common is pet damage for landlords?

Approximately 85% of landlords and agents have experienced property damage by pets which makes it the highest form of damage to rental property.

However this is closely followed to 84% having incurred damage by adults and 55% from children.

With these figures it is understandable that many landlords are reluctant to offer property portfolios to pet owners.

The demand for pet friendly homes on the rise

According to a report released by Rightmove in August 2021, the demand for pet-friendly homes dramatically increased by a whopping 120% over the course of one year.

Apparently, 3.2 million UK households have bought a dog since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

UK Government – limited protection for landlords

The UK Government has limited protection for landlords but has confirmed it will amend the Tenant Fees Act 2019 so landlords can request that their tenants buy pet damage insurance.

In addition, The white paper “A fairer private rented sector”, recently released by the UK Government, has committed to giving tenants ‘the right to request a pet in their property, which the landlord must consider and cannot “unreasonably refuse”’.

The campaign continues to ensure these commitments are met in the resulting legislation and that pet insurance is designed to meet the needs of landlords, agents, tenants, and pets.

Why Landlords should consider tenants with pets

Opening up your rental property to pet owners means you have a much wider market, which will increase demand and potentially reduce the amount of time the property is left empty between tenancies.

Many tenants know how hard it can be to find suitable rental accommodation and therefore try and avoid stressing pets by moving home too often and therefore likely to be longer term lets.

It is a good differentiator to be able to market your rental property to pet owners and those that are on agents’ waiting lists will be ready and waiting for your rental property.

How to increase your chance of getting a pet friendly rental property

Many pet owners who seek rental property are turning to “Pet CV’s”. Creating a CV for your pet and providing references from previous landlords is a great way to build confidence by showing that your pet is well behaved and provides evidence that your pet has caused no problems at your previous property.

Pet Damage Insurance

According to landlords and agents, 66% see the way forward is pet damage insurance and key to encouraging more pet-friendly rentals.

Please note: As with all insurance policies, conditions and exclusions will apply.

Sources:

  • Rightmove
  • Propertymark
  • National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA)
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