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According to The Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA), the twelve month period post-March 2020 lockdown saw pet ownership increase in the country by 3.2 million households, with circa 12 million dogs and an equivalent figure of cats living in the UK and spread across roughly 17 million households (read article).

In the face of such a volume of pet ownership, it should come as no surprise that attitudes of property landlords change with the times in matters of tenants who are also responsible pet owners.

By considering a pet within a rental property, landlords give a property a better chance of securing a speedy letting by widening its market appeal to tenants and, thereby, reducing potential for a void period.

More often than not, references can be obtained by the lettings agent - as part of the wider checks - to confirm if a prospective tenant has a history of being a responsible pet owner.

However, there is no obligation for landlords to accept pets in their properties. but the availability of insurance cover makes it more palatable to landlords who may have initial misgivings if they have never let to pet-owning tenants before.

“Adequate insurance cover and pet clauses within schedules can be incorporated within tenancy agreements,” advises Dan Barradale, associate, property lettings and management agent, Shouler & Son.

“Landlords’ contents insurance policies have specific clauses for pets in tenancies and the extra cost can be passed on to the tenants. Tenants too can take out their own insurance cover for pet damage and, in doing so, will help put a landlord’s mind at rest.

“Dogs and cats are of equal concern when it comes to wear and tear within a property

“But dogs are more of consideration for potential noise nuisance when it comes to neighbours. Tenants must take this on board and be prepared to correct the dog’s behaviour should this arise.

“Whether dog or cat - or even tropical fish - tenants should always declare any and all pets they have and request permission to have them as part of the household before they take the tenancy.

“Similarly, tenants should advise the landlord of any planned pet acquisitions during the life of the tenancy agreement before getting the pet. Failing to inform the agent or landlord may be considered a breach of tenancy agreement terms and could give grounds for eviction.

“It is largely common sense when it comes to pets and lettings.

“If tenants show they are responsible pet owners and will treat the landlord’s property with care, there can be fewer hurdles to overcome than both parties might think at the outset.

“In addition, in thinking about the landlord’s position, while clauses and policy schedules set out the ground rules at the beginning of a tenancy, it may be worthwhile retaining the services of a managing agent to monitor any pet-specific concerns as part of a wider brief of maintaining the property and managing the tenancy.”

 For more information on residential lettings and property management, contact Dan Barradale at Shouler & Son, email, tel 01664 560181 or see