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You Can No Longer Charge A Deposit For Pets – Here’s What You Need To Know

7th January 2020

Due to the introduction of the recent Tenant Fee Ban, there have been a lot of changes to what we as landlords and agents are able to charge for. One example of that is the deposit for pets. If you are a landlord who allows your tenants to have pets, then that additional deposit you used to charge to cover any damages or cleaning bills caused by pets is no longer allowed under the new bill.

Letting to pet owners

Whether you’re for or against, there is undeniably a huge appetite for properties which allow tenants with pets. It’s estimated that up to half or renters are also pet owners, which creates a bit of a dilemma – should you allow pets or not?

If you have previously been pro-pet, things have recently changed with the new Tenant Fee Ban, because now, landlords can no longer charge an additional deposit for tenants with pets. It’s yet another chunk of money gone from our previous income – so what should you do?

Your options

OK, so you could stop allowing pets for future tenants. Or you could continue to allow pets, and suck up the cost. But there is something which would benefit both you and the tenant, and it’s actually a pretty obvious solution…

How to change what you charge for pet owners

It’s perfectly within the rules to ask tenants with pets to pay an additional rental charge. For example, if you are offering a property for rent at £600pcm, you are allowed to advertise that an addition is chargeable for pets. So you could say something like “£600pcm, or £650pcm for pet owners”.

Why this is the best option

There are definite advantages to having pet owners as tenants, the most obvious one being that it greatly increases your pool of prospective tenants. And let’s dispel the myth – most pet owners are actually pretty decent and responsible people, who will do all that they can to keep your property in good condition.

If you charged a deposit in the past for pets, let’s say for arguments sake, a cost of £250. So at the end of the tenancy, you have an additional £250 to cover thing like, carpet cleaning, dealing with scratches on the walls or doors, disinfecting for odours etc.  When you add all that up, your £250 doesn’t seem like such a good deal.

But if you charging a ‘rent’ for those pet, you’re getting a consistent amount of money, which can cover ongoing costs for these things. And because you’re allowing your tenants to have their pets in the property, chances are they’ll stay in it for a longer term, will make more of an effort to take care of the property, and you’ll be recommended to their pet-owning friends as a great landlord.

It’s actually quite encouraging – and for pet-owning tenants, good news, as it could mean that more landlords are able to meet demand and provide accommodation for pets without having to worry too much about the cost to them.

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