Allowing pets in rented properties

December 27, 2018

A fairly standard clause in a tenancy agreement is a clause prohibiting pets.

Most landlords don’t want pets in their properties. Pets can cause damage. And many people are allergic to them which can create problems when re-letting a property where, for example, a cat or dog has been living.

On the other hand, lots of people have pets (we are supposed to be an animal loving society) and lots of those pets are well behaved.

Sadly many people have to lose their pets if they cannot find anywhere to rent that will permit them – and may even have to get them put down.  Which is a shame.

But if tenants are allowed to keep their pet they will often prove to be excellent tenants, who will care for the property and stay a long time (cutting down on those expensive voids).

So you may want to re-consider banning pets entirely

Provided you take care when selecting your tenants, you can limit allowed pets to those who are non-destructive. 

We look at this in our article on letting to tenants with pets here.

And you are justified in changing a slightly higher rent if your tenant has a pet – to take account of the extra wear and tear on the property.

But how do you deal with this in your tenancy agreement?

Most people tend to just give their permission and leave it at that. However, if you do allow pets, it is important that you include suitable clauses in your tenancy agreement to protect your position. For example:

  • Clauses requiring tenants to look after the animal properly, and
  • Ensuring that they do not cause a nuisance to neighbours, and
  • That they are properly vaccinated and treated for fleas

You also need to make sure that if something happens to the tenant (for example if he has to go to hospital) there is someone who can care for the pet – otherwise, this will be down to YOU!

The answer?  The Landlord Law Pet Form

This is one of our most popular forms and its effect is to amend the terms of your tenancy to allow the tenant to keep a pet – but only the specific pet described in the form.

It can be used at any time – either at the start of the tenancy or part way through the fixed term.  Or during a periodic tenancy. Whenever you decide to allow your tenant to keep a pet.

It includes detailed clauses to protect your position and to require the tenant to look after the pet properly, including special clauses for cats and dogs.

It also notifies the tenant that if they fail to care for the animal you reserve the right to refer them to an animal welfare organisation such as the RSPCA.

It is a very useful form.

The Landlord Law Pets form is available to all Landlord Law members and can be found on this page.