Frequently Asked Questions About Pets in Properties
My tenant has a pet in the property without my permission – what do I do?
If a tenant has a pet in the property without the landlord’s permission, they are breaking the rules of the tenancy agreement. It is then up to the landlord what to do next. If they are a good tenant and responsible pet owner, it is best to communicate and negotiate.
Can I charge more rent to tenants that have pets?
While you can charge higher rent, it's important to keep this fee reasonable and understand that both the landlord and tenant have a responsibility in negotiating. For context, previous pet deposits before the Tenant Fees Act were typically one week's worth of rent. In other words, if your monthly rent is £1000, you could reasonably expect to pay an extra £200 as a deposit for having a pet and a 'pet rental fee' as well.
Is a breach of the pet clause a lawful deposit deduction?
Landlords should list in the terms of the tenancy agreement if tenant is allowed to keep pets or not. If the tenant breaks this rule, the landlord can't automatically get money from them. The landlord has to show how the tenant breaking the rule made them lose money. They need evidence that the pet was bad for the property.
Should a landlord add a pet clause to the tenancy agreement?
When you allow someone to have a pet in your property, make sure that you have a 'pet clause' in the tenancy agreement. This will state what the tenant is responsible for when it comes to taking care of the pet. The standard expectation is that the tenant will return the property in the same condition as when they started living there, except for normal 'wear and tear'.If you have a pet, you are still responsible for taking care of the property. This means that if the property was cleaned professionally at the start of the tenancy, it should be cleaned professionally again when you move out.
Would it be possible to ask for an additional pet deposit?
Asking for an additional pet deposit in England is not allowed, unless your existing deposit is under the maximum amount. The law says that the total deposit must not be more than five weeks' rent (for tenancies with an annual rent of less than £50,000) or six weeks for tenancies where the rent is £50,000 or higher.
Do I have to say 'yes' to having a pet in the property?
No, you are not required to allow pets in your property. There is no law that says landlords must allow pets in their rental properties. But the government in England does encourage landlords to allow tenants who own pets. If you do not want to allow pets, you need to have a good reason that is not unreasonable. You should write your reasons down and send them to the tenant within 28 days of receiving their request. Some good reasons for not allowing pets might be if the property's lease doesn't allow it, there is no outdoor space, or if the landlord has allergies.
What should I do if the tenant gets a pet in the middle of the tenancy?
You do not need to create a new tenancy agreement, but you should include an addendum for pets. Before you do this, inspect the property inside and outside carefully to record the condition of the spaces.