It’s been a given for many years that smart landlords do not allow pets. Why on earth would we….
- It may not be house trained = messy poo floors
- Pets can be a bit stinky and could make your property smell
- They may scratch the floors & damage the furniture
- If not cared for they may get fleas – yuk!
- Future tenants may be allergic if the property isn’t properly cleaned
- They may terrorise the postman or other tenants
- They can be loud and disturb the neighbours
Now, I consider myself a smart landlord, but today I met ‘Dave’, a three year old long haired ginger rescue boy. Our new tenants in one of the rentals (a first floor apartment with rear door access to lots of green space) moved in last weekend and to be fair to them, they then asked whether it could be ok for them to get a cat. When questioned, it transpired that they’d already met Dave, who family couldn’t keep him as their young son had developed an allergy. Oh gawd, I’m a sucker for a sob story….
I said yes more or less straight away. Call me daft but it was a combination of gut instinct and past experience. Mr M & I had lived on the same development in a first floor flat a couple of years ago with my gorgeous girl Mia. We’d also had timber & tile floors with no carpet along with access to outside, so there were none of the problems bullet-pointed above. But more than that, I remembered my first flat, rented in the mid 90’s after leaving Uni. I’d gone out one night & returned to my rented home with a unexpected item – a skinny, poorly, abandoned kitten tucked inside my jacket, Mia, who with me for the next 15yrs.
So when the female tenant of the three newbies asked if it would be possible to have a rescue cat…. I saw me. I saw me loving my flat, my cat and my life. I GOT PERSONAL!!!!
All I have to do now is get Dave into one of these t shirts:
I did some surfing on the subject. Consider this written by a landlord:
Dogs are welcome in this apartment. I never had a dog that smoked in bed and set fire to the building. I never had a dog who played music or the TV too loudly. I never had a dog get drunk and knock holes in the walls. So if your dog can vouch for you, you’re welcome too.”
Tongue in cheek possibly but maybe more pertinent is the fact that over 40% of the population own a pet. Not all of these people rent, it’s estimated there are 5 million tenants in the UK, but that’s still a whole heap of people to cut out of your rental loop.
Some food for thought:
- How many prospective tenants are you losing by disregarding pet owners completely? Decent properties available for tenants with pets are hugely in demand
- Tenants may well be more content and stay for much longer if they are happy in a home with their pet
- You can organise a higher deposit to cover any potential increase in damage from the pet in question
- You can download a PDF for tenants to agree to and sign with which both you and the tenant/s are happy with: http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/downloads/landlordforms/pet_policy_sample.pdf
- You will be helping to put a stop to the estimated 8% of tenants who have to re-home their pets when they move 😦
- You could even consider making properties more pet friendly by laying tiled floors, avoiding carpet, creating a dedicated space in the garden…. etc etc
Good heavens, there’s even a dedictated website. Go on, make yourself pet friendly! http://www.letswithpets.org.uk/
This is also a great source of info for tenants & landlords in or considering the whole pet situation: http://www.petfriendlyrentals.co.uk/tips.html