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  • Buy-to-Let

    Prospective tenant has dog, so does neighbour

    Hello everybody

    I am in a process of renting out my BTL property and prospective tenant wants to move in with her pet dog.It's a Shih Tzu dog breed which apparently doesn’t shed.

    However, next door neighbour has also a dog.My worry is, these two dogs might be constantly barking against each other when they are in a close proximity e.g when both are at the their respective back yards.

    Has anyone here in PT had this kind of experience in their tenanted properties?

    I will be grateful for your advise.

    Thanking in advance.

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    Property Investor from Surrey

    How dogs may react to each other is certainly an unknown quantity!

    I would be minded to go next door and speak to the neighbour and ask for their thoughts.  When do they let their dog out?  Is their dog friendly to other dogs?  Would a dog next door cause a problem for their dog?

    If you get the neighbour on side from the beginning, it will help enormously.  They may be able to work with the tenant to let their dog out at different times of the day, to avoid any barking.

    Dogs only tend to bark if they are left all day at home on their own, so also find out the tenant's lifestyle and routine for their dog.

    Perhaps visit the tenant and dog in their existing home and see how they live together?

    Other than that, there is not a lot of you can do other than to try it and see if the tenant's dog causes issues.  Give the neighbour your contact details so that they can get in touch with you if there is an issue.

    Be sure to get a detailed inventory at the start of the tenancy and also say that you will require an extra deep clean at the end of the tenancy.  You should also undertake a property inspection after 3 months to ascertain the impact the dog is having on your property.  

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    Thank you Vanessa.As always, very thorough advise.
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    Property Investor from Surrey

    Don't know if this is relevant but all dogs shed.  They just do so in different ways.  Shih Tzu's shed is more like a ball of cotton wool.

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    Good to know as haven't got much experience with dogs.
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    Property Investor from Surrey

    Does the dog next door currently bark a lot? If not, then chances are you’ll be fine (assuming your tenant’s dog i’ll also be well trained). However if they do, then chances are your dog will bark also, even just to shut them up. Either way, a conversation should be had here.

    I would also advise the two dogs to meet so that they are not strangers. That way if they are both in the garden, they will already be familiar with each other (maybe the odd bark to say hello!).

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    I like the idea of introducing dogs to each other.Hadn't thought about that.We learn new things every day.
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    Property Investor from Surrey

    The existing dog may well 'talk' to other dogs already in the neighbourhood in any case. It's likely the owner will be tolerant of barking because it's just part of owning a dog, and it's what dogs do. A meeting of dogs would be good.

    Shi T'zu's and associated breeds are hypoallergenic, which is great for anyone with allergies. Also, they do not shed or smell in the same way as e.g. a Labrador. You will definitely not have dog hair all over the sofa and carpet. We've had several such dogs, and they do make good house dogs.

    Get the inventory agreed and agreement to make good any dog-damage. The tenant will be very happy to do so.

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    Thanks Lou for your reassuring advise.
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    Property Investor from Surrey

    Half of my tenants have dogs.

    They also bark when they detect any change, by sound or sight, such as someone coming into the garden, gates opening, gravel noises etc.

    It is important to make sure that your Ts dog cannot see other dogs too easily. Normal way to do that is solid fences to perhaps 1.5 or 1.8m.

    You need to do the usual things recommended by Dogs Trust / Lets with Pets, and also pay attention to the contractual, which has been wrecked in passing by the Tenant Fees Act. Most of your cost-free and appropriate risk management measures have been taken away and made into offences, such as extra deposits and a commitment to a professional clean at the end.

    The build to let companies such as Legal & General usually charge an opening inspection fee per dog of up to £300 and a walloping extra rent of £30-35 per month per animal. No idea if it is legal. Plus require it never to be alone in the property for more than 4 hours.

    You need to know where you stand with such.

    My top tip now is to let your tenant decorate etc and even buy carpets so that it is her paintwork which gets damaged and no arguments you just delay your decoration until the end.
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