No Pets Allowed – how many landlords make this stipulation? The short answer is quite a lot, says Mike White, of Martin & Co lettings agency. But why? Is it because they’ve had a nightmare experience or know someone who has? Or is it simply the fear of the unknown?
At Martin & Co, we take a broader view – we encourage our landlords to take a “Pets Negotiable” stance. We say: “It’s never the pets, it’s the people.” Frankly, if you’ve got a responsible pet owner, you could have a Shetland pony living in a penthouse apartment and not have the slightest problem (apart from the stairs and lift of course) but equally a hamster in the hands of an irresponsible owner can be a very dangerous animal. It’s estimated 43pc of the population currently own a pet and almost 5 million people live in privately rented accommodation. By not accepting pets, landlords can be missing out on a big chunk of the rental market and that can’t make good business sense. By accepting pets, you can:
- Increase the demand for your property
- Encourage tenants to stay longer
- Attract responsible tenants
In fact, the Dogs Trust has launched its very own campaign ‘Lets with Pets’ to show landlords how to do it. See www.dogstrust.org.uk
When we’re approached by pet owning prospective tenants, we want to assure ourselves on behalf of our landlord client that the pet in question is well looked after, well behaved, house trained etc etc. There are various techniques we employ, including if necessary, actually meeting the pet! That said, seeking a larger security deposit is always good practice – we find tenants who are perfectly willing to deposit a larger sum do so in the knowledge that they fully expect to receive the full amount back at the end of the tenancy.
What experiences have you had? Either as a landlord or as a pet owning tenant?
*You can contact Mike at Martin & Co on 01603 766860 or at 13 St Giles Street Norwich.