“Pet rents” are being increasingly charged in the wake of the tenancy fees ban.
Tenants’ lobbying group Generation Rent said it is beginning to see pet rents of between £25 and £50 a month.
The Guardian and Sun both said that the charges are an attempt to recoup money lost from the ban.
Georgie Laming, campaigns manager at Generation Rent, said that charging pet rents “is the wrong approach”.
She said: “Tenants are already paying their deposits and are liable for damage at the end of the tenancy.
“This is where landlords can charge for damage from pets – not through hiking up rents.”
The Guardian found one renter looking for a home for his family of four plus cocker spaniel, who said that charging pet rents seems to be standard in certain letting agencies.
Darren Baxter told the paper: “It seems exorbitant given the potential damage a pet can cause. We went to one place where they wanted a reference for the dog. That was ridiculous.”
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said that the practice is the only legal way for landlords to cover the potential cost of damage by pets.
He said: “This practice is a direct result of capping deposits under the tenant fees ban, as this problem didn’t exist before June 1.
“There’s been a long-standing campaign from the Dogs Trust, called Lets with Pets, which encouraged landlords and letting agents to take a couple of weeks extra deposit to cover the cost of a pet.
“But this practice is now unlawful under the ban and landlords are charging additional rent as it’s the only lawful avenue to mitigate the risk of damage from pets.”
The Lets with Pets campaign is still running, and suggests that tenants with pets do indeed supply a pet reference, either from a previous landlord or a vet.
However, the website does not appear to have been updated for some years and there is no reference to the tenants’ fees ban and the likelihood of pets’ rents being charged.
We did attempt to contact Dogs Trust for comment but were not able to get past its call centre.