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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Renting to a tenant with pet (snake)

    I have two rooms that have been empty for about a fortnight now, had few interests but all of them are unemployed.

    Today i had enquiry from a man that works full time, long hours so can afford the rents and clearly wont be spending a lot of time in the house, only problem is that he has a pet snake that he keeps in a tank with lock.

    He is an ideal tenant but i'm a bit worried about the package he got, anyone ever been in this situation about tenants and pets?

    opinions highly appreciated

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    Hi Carly,

    If it is an HMO, which it sounds like it is, what will the other tenants think of having a pet snake?

    There may be an issue of smell.  When a snake does a No. 2, there is no more vile smell in the world.

    As an aside .... The thought of a poor snake being locked in a tank for hours on end with no attention is a horrible thought.  If the man is away all the time, is that humane?

    I would be minded to ask if you can view the snake at its current home and see what impact it is having i.e. if the current accommodation smells.

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    If it's in a cage and the other tenants are OK with it, I'd say go for it.  Also, you won't have a rodent problem!

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    Just spoke to the man, it appears he has been kicked out by his missus, so the chance of going round to see the snake is remote.

    I'm just really worried about the other tenants in the house.

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    As a herpetologist myself I can assure you the smell of snake poo will not be smelt in other areas of the house. I think a teenage boy makes much more of a smell. Big Grin

    The only concern from your point of view should be the extra electricity. If it's a corn snake then it will be minimal but a larger snake and thus a larger vivarium may require a substantial heat source. 

    Snakes can't even be handled for days after being fed so being left alone isn't a problem. 

    There's no need for the other tenants to even know he has a snake and assuming the vivarium has a lock there's no threat of escape.

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    Apparently, its a royal python, so i'm guessing it will consume slightly more electricity than other tenants?

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    It will almost certainly have a heat mat with very low wattage. They are small snakes. I imagine someone with a tv on for hours might use more but it wouldn't hurt to add a little on for extra electricity.

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    As Vanessa said the cruelty aspect would put me off... I dissuade people from keeping creatures locked up in cages and tanks as I don't think it's fair...

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    Is the snake called George Osborne ?

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    Snake combined with possible domestic issues are two big red flags to me, not to mention that the tenant may suddenly reunite with his wife, and move back in with her, walking away from the tenancy ....

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    I rented to a person who kept a snake. A biggy one . I was fine with that

    A year later the collection had grown to about  4 snakes 10 mice,  a few hamsters,  a handful of rats and an iguana

    The smell in the room was overpowering but they didnt notice it . I had reservations about them being caged up all day

    My knowledge of reptiles and the like grew . They were enthusiastic teachers. It was like visiting a zoo each house check

    We talked about starting an import business together for rare reptiles and taking them on school visits

    They also  wanted to build and sell vivariums  . They had no money . We talked business

    I almost offered them a Dragon Den deal  But it never was finalised

    So  keep an open mind . Each to their own

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com