Paws for thought about pets in lets

Last week The Lettings Hub brought together industry leads from across the lettings and pet sector to discuss how to support both landlords and tenants on the possible forthcoming changes concerning pets in lets.

Representatives from across eleven organisations including national and regional letting agents, insurance underwriters, lettings professional bodies (including Propertymark and Property Redress), pet charities (AdvoCATS and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home) sat down to discuss the challenges faced and opportunities for solutions protecting both landlords and tenants.

The Pets in Lets forum

 

The Lettings Hub surveyed over 600 current tenants and found that 82% of those without a pet would look to bring a pet into their home. Research by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home also showed that pet owners stayed longer in properties with the average tenancy increasing from 21 to 24 months.

However, currently landlords have concerns allowing pets within their rental properties with 35% of landlords reporting they do not currently allow pets.

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, commented “We have been warning for some time that the unintended consequences of the Tenant Fees Act have reduced the appetite for many landlords to take on the greater risk of damage.”

With the Government’s White Paper on A Fairer Private Rented Sector this situation is set to change.

Heidi Shackell CEO of The Lettings Hub said: “Pets are an emotive subject for both landlords and tenants, at The Lettings Hub we are committed to delivering solutions and products which support and protect all parties. Collaborating with experts across the lettings and pets’ sectors allows us to truly understand how these changes are set to impact our customers and allow us to develop a holistic resolution”

Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at The Property Redress Scheme said: “It was great to be part of this initiative, which looked at constructive ways of making the aspiration for more pet-friendly property a reality. Tenants rightly don’t want to feel discriminated against for wanting to have a pet, however landlords should feel they are protected.

“The challenge is how to deliver this in a satisfactory and cost-effective way and gathering the experts into one room is a fantastic start!”

Richard Abbott, CEO of Inventory Hive added:

“This issue is a real hot potato right now, so it’s important that industry stakeholders come together. The Lettings Hub event really set the scene for opening-up different perspectives in the room. “

The forum is set to continue as The Lettings Hub and key stakeholders look to flesh out a solution.

Timothy Douglas at Propertymark commented: “We look forward to our continued conversations with The Lettings Hub and other key industry groups which will provide an opportunity to share knowledge and expertise across the board and in turn find a workable solution for both landlords and tenants which supports the sector to take on greater risk to help more people to rent with pets.”

If you would like to take part in upcoming forums on the changes The Lettings Hub are welcoming stakeholders from across the industries including agents, landlords, suppliers and charity organisations. Contact Jessica Langley (Head of Marketing-The Lettings Hub) jessica.langley@lettingshub.co.uk if you would like to take part.

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8 Comments

  1. natural_selection

    It feels like the PRS is becoming social housing, of which the landlord is simply a stakeholder.

    Landlords were able to offset the risk of having a pet in their property by asking for an increased deposit, that’s gone so now the government is trying to plug another hole of their own making. What a circus. Imagine if they concentrated all their efforts on generating more housing stock, supply and demand market forces would fix the issue as landlords would be trying to attract tenants, not filter them.

     

    Anyway, in many cases kids are riskier than pets!

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  2. Will2

    And what about the discrimination against landlords saying they must rent to pet owners?  Twisted thoughts by those who just don’t like it if they don’t get what THEY want.  Having had a tenant with a small pet dog that p’d all over the place I speak first hand. To get rid of the smell I and my wife spent the best part of a day scrubbing the floor boards with bleach to reduce the odour – YES reduce it. It did not get of the smell for some time and it even migrated to new carpets.  Yet we have all these people who do not invest a single penny into housing people telling us what we should and should not allow. Total hypocrits. Natural_selection says it as it is yet no notice is taken of landlords whose investments are impacted. THIS IS WHY MANY ARE LEAVING THE MARKET and less demanding tenants are getting a poorer deal as a result; as rents rise through reducing supply but all these influencers do not have any understanding whatsoever.  Leave the market alone and landlords who want the risk will charge higher rents to compensate for the risks involved, since our idiot government banned increased deposits for such senarios. Force us to take pets and irresponsible pet owners will be sued to recover the significant losses they can cause and the many others will pay more to rent who do not have pets as some bunch of do gooders will maintain the landlords is discriminating.

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    1. Vicars04

      Well said and totally agree, complete discrimination against landlords. Who is taking a stand for landlords however…nobody it seems?! Bit like the inflated petrol prices currently, everybody is complaining but just accepting of the situation. Propertymark barking on about rental reforms but pretty much everything proposed benefits the tenant, not the landlord. Inevitable max exodus of landlords looms…real shame as the system was not broken, just a few small tweaks here and there required, majority of good tenants and good landlords are perfectly happy with the way things are…housing stock the fundamental issue of which successive governments are to blame.

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  3. Woodentop

    So this lot think they can make a round wheel go better? All talk on a subject that should never be down to anyone but the landlord. It is the landlords property that is being offered for renting, not offering to rent on the tenants terms, they don’t own the property.

     

    It is a simple fact that many tenants do not look after a property without a pet. There are many tenants with pets, who are good tenants and they are not the ones the landlords has no concerns over, but that doesn’t mean the landlord has no right to say who does or does not live in their property. If the tenants doesn’t like it, then go find another property. It is as simple as that.

     

    It is the tenant that does not keep their pet under control and causes damage that is a RISK that many a landlord does not want to entertain. No matter what insurance policy or deposit is taken, it doesn’t stop these bad tenants who throw at you …. “well you’re insured”. Once the damage is done, the damage is done and its often not a lick of paint and wipe with a cloth and hoover that puts things right. I can write a book on tenants/pets problems and the hundred’s of £k’s landlords have lost as a result of pets allowed or brought in in contravention of the tenancy agreement.

     

    Recent case: Tenants not permitted pets in tenancy agreement brought in two cats. When they vacated the smell …. agggh. But the infestation of fleas is the biggest problem. Even the cleaners called in walked out on the job for being eaten alive. The property was fumigated. Ah says everyone, job done and dusted. Not so, cleaners came back in and fleas reappeared, why? Fumigation only kills living insects, not eggs which immediately hatched once they felt the vibrations from the cleaners. Hoover apparently according to the pets guy’s will do it every time. now we are on our second treatment and warned a third will be required. Cost, not just cleaning, fumigating but 2 months lost rent and that tenants deposit …. laughable amount that cannot possibly recover the charges.

     

    Prevention is better than the cure. Landlords should have the right to say no pets. More landlords will now leave the market, for many it is hassle they can do without, they are in it for the money, not the expenditure.

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    1. Vicars04

      But why should landlords be forced to leave the market?!!! Not right, most landlords have worked damn hard to get a property or two to let and simply want to be able to have a choice in terms of who they accept as a tenant. If they accept a pet fine, but the option of ‘no thanks’ should be available, IT IS THEIR PROPERTY. The government should incentivise landlords financially to accept pets if they feel they must meddle furthermore in the PRS, not order them to.

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    2. Will2

      Well Woodentop I guess what should of happended is that a proper report should have been prepared by an expert, all treatment justified and the ex tenant sued for the costs and legal cost involved. They would probably not be able to afford it but you would get a county court judgement against them and  this would act as a warning for other landlords.  If the claim reached  the appropraite threshold you could seek a bunkruptcy order which  would make life very difficult for them for several years. This all costs and landlord often back off just pleased to get their property back. This group will talk about insurance but do people really trust insurance companies many of whom are less than professional and often attempt to avoid paying justifyable claims. The costs to all the decent tenants will rise to cover landlord;s running costs and  losses. This is a bit like uninsured drivers increasing the insurance premium of the decent legal law bidding drivers; it is simply wrong but the experts in spin all try to turn on the decent landlords.

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      1. Woodentop

        You missed the point. Why should a landlord have to take the risk in the first place and your solution is costly, time consuming and for what if the tenant has no money. You can’t make a phrased ‘DSS tenant’, bankrupt or discriminate against them.

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  4. TheLettingsHub

    The Lettings Hub are keen to ensure we involve all stakeholders in our forums, and while we were fortunate to have the views of several experienced letting agents in the room last week, we would absolutely welcome landlords to join our next event, which will be on a bigger scale in terms of attendee capacity. We understand the concerns and worries many landlords have and protecting and safeguarding a landlords investment property is high on our agenda. The forum is keen to develop solutions that allow landlords to understand if the tenant is a responsible pet owner before entering the property and deliver products that protect landlords from any pet-related damage, without bearing excessive additional cost burden. The existing and previous solutions available to a landlord, like increased rent or additional pet deposits both have pros and cons, especially when considered in the wider context of full rent reform proposals like periodic tenancies becoming the standard. It was great to hear some of the innovative ideas across sector at the forum, and we are now preparing a report with the key questions raised to submit to the government . We are next due to meet on the 15th September in central London, and we welcome all landlords, tenants, letting agents and industry suppliers that are interested in the topic – if you would like to attend please contact jessica.langley@lettingshub.co.uk  

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