Tenants with pets – good or bad news?

Many people have pets, so if you’re a landlord it’s likely that sooner or later you’ll get a request from a pet owner who wants to rent from you. Before either agreeing to or rejecting their application, there are several important pros and cons about having tenants with pets that should know – including what might happen if you want to sell your property.

dogs in rental property

Benefits of taking tenants with pets

There are many benefits to having tenants with pets, not least the fact that they are more willing to sign long-term rental agreements. That’s because it can be hard for people to find landlords who are willing to rent to pet owners, so when they find a landlord who’s open to pets then they might want a lengthy agreement to avoid having to do the difficult search again. This can be a great benefit if you need some security with how long your tenants will be there.

The fact that it’s hard for pet owners to find places that will rent to them also means you will likely be able to quickly find a tenant after you list your place for rent.

Pet owners might also be willing to pay you a larger security deposit for a rental that would cover any damage their pet might cause, which can be another perk, however be sure to comply with all tenancy deposit protection legislation.

The other benefit is anecdotal but still true; pet owners as tenants tend generally to take greater care of their homes and their animals to avoid causing any damage that might put their security deposit at risk. Therefore, renting to a pet owner can be a good way to give you peace of mind that you have a responsible tenant who will keep your home in good condition.

cats in rental property

Drawbacks of taking tenants with pets

There are a few drawbacks of taking tenants with pets that should also consider, including the fact that the animal might cause significant damage to your house or flat. Although the security deposit should cover some or all of these costs, if the damage is widespread it can be a time-consuming process to fix it before you can rent it to another tenant.

In addition to physical damage to the property, there’s also the chance that the pet could leave behind unpleasant odours that you have to treat before you can rent it to a future tenant.

If you are renting a flat, you also run the risk of getting complaints from neighbours if the pet is noisy or aggressive. You might have to resolve conflicts between your tenants and others in the building, which can be a stressful experience you would otherwise avoid.

Selling your rental property when the tenants have pets

When you get a pet owner applying to rent your house or flat, you should weigh the above benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether it’s something you will accept.

For landlords who want to sell their rental home, the takeaway is that it will be the same process as for properties where the tenants don’t have pets. So long as the house or flat has been cleaned once the people renting have left it won’t make any difference to the sale.

That means your options divide into the traditional three categories: selling through an estate agent, selling your house fast to a property buying company and selling through an auction.

Estate agents can be useful because they take care of listing, marketing and holding viewings for your property. But houses and flats can be listed for months or even years before selling, and there’s also no guarantee of the final sale price as the buyer might make a lower offer. And you’ll have to pay estate agents’ fees, further reducing your potential profit.

Auctioning might be a good idea if you need to know a specific date for when your house will sell, because the auction day will give you that certainty. But you’re taking a gamble that you’ll be able to achieve more bids than the minimum reserve prices, so you might have to settle for less than you want for you home. You’ll also be liable for auctioneer fees.

Selling to a property-buying company like LDN Properties can be a great alternative. These companies deal directly with homeowners, giving them fast, hassle-free and competitive cash offers to buy without charging any fees. That means you can not only secure a speedy sale, but you can do so while keeping all of the profit from the sale.

TIP: Check out our latest blog on the Renters Reform Bill, which affects the law on tenants with pets.