Letting to tenants with pets can be a bit of a hassle and many landlords simply state that tenants are not allowed to own a pet, such as a cat or a dog. Whilst smaller pets such as fish and hamsters may be allowed, often cats and dogs, and anything else of a similar size, aren’t. However, ensuring your tenants are actually sticking to these rules can be a bit tricky. So, what do you do?
When your new tenants move in, it’s a very good idea to be upfront and ask your tenants whether they do own any pets already. Now, for a start, it’s perfectly reasonable for landlords to object to tenants owning a cat or a dog since they can cause a great deal of wear and tear.
If you do not want pets in your property, then it’s important to stick to this notion as any unwanted pets in your property will just cause an unnecessary headache in the long term. Be aware however that you may lose potential tenants this way, however, finding the right tenants for your property is essential!
Signs of a Pet
So, how can you be sure that your tenants haven’t bought a pet after having moved in? Well, if your tenants do own pets then it will be likely that you will see obvious telltale signs, such as unusual teeth marks where a cat or, in particular, a dog may have gnawed at furniture. You may also notice some damage in the garden and most of all you may find claw marks in the surfaces. Then there’s dog or cat hair that can be tricky to keep tabs on.
If you are suspicious that your tenants are in breach of the contract and you do indeed find that they have been keeping pets in the property without consent and a number of damages have been caused, then you are more than entitled to take the cost of repairs out of their deposits. The tenants are ultimately responsible for any damages that are caused whilst they reside in the property, however make sure you have a good landlord insurance policy to cover you in the event of damages.
Most people these days are animal lovers, however, being an animal lover doesn’t necessarily mean you want them running around your property! Make sure you choose your tenants carefully and enquire as to whether they have any pets before taking them on as your new tenants.