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  • Buy-to-Let

    Should landlord allow a dog?

    Hi All,

    I'm after a bit of advice.  My current tenants have some cats (I'm sure more than they started with) and have been great tenants over the past year. 

    They've been more than good tenants, and the place appears in good order with no negative affects from the cats. 

    They've now said they're looking to get a dog, just wondered if people had any thoughts/views on how we should proceed, not wanting to disappoint them as they've been good tenants, but fear it could progress further.

    Thanks In Avdance

    Tom

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    I allow pets and previously took additional deposit to cover it, however, with the deposit cap this isn't possible so I would look to increase the rent by an appropriate amount and explain the reasons to the tenants.
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    In my experience tenants with dogs are less trouble and keep the house in better order than tenants with young kids
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    Slowly working towards financial freedom

    Agree with Mason.  No more risky than any other tenant and young kids can cause a lot of damage

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    Agreed. Cats and dogs, in general,  will not do the following, which I have learnt the hard way, from a recent tenant, a "single mother on benefits", whom I agreed to, when the LA said they had vetted her, references fine, there would be no problems etc.:

    scribble with crayons on the walls;
    make all sorts of mess on the floor/s;
    noisily chuck things onto the floor, and stamp up and down all day, bawl and scream, causing complaints from elderly residents below;
    throw something at the ceiling, smashing an irreplaceable glass shade on a 5 lamp light fitting;
    cause written complaints from neighbours about the smell of smoking, in breach of the lease;
    have verbal contretemps with neighbour who accuse said tenant's kids of "being brats"...

    to name a few.

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    Never underestimate the cost of dealing with a flea infestation, especially if the property is a flat . If its a house then any disruption, liability lies with the tenant directly ,so not a great problem, if its a flat and the fleas get into the other units its a whole new world of pain getting it dealt with properly.

    If you discover an infestation when the tenant vacates, you end up with a property you can’t realistically relet for around a month if you want to be sure the problem is resolved and you’ve gone through a full lifecycle of the little buggers.
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    And never underestimate the cost of dealing with bed bugs from humans, believe me, I know  ;-)

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    As yet not an issue i’ve needed to deal with, but on doubt “one day”
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    The OFT document on unfair terms in tenancy agreements, OFT 356, had this revision to a blanket refusal in a tenancy agreement.


    ###....without the consent of the landlord such consent not to be unreasonably withheld, delayed or withdrawn...####


    Clearly one small stick insect in a glass case would be OK, 3 incontinent Rottweilers with behavioral issues not.


    And the allotments act 1950 s12 (?) says anyone (not just allotments) can keep rabbits and chickens: Oh cluck!

    https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2011/04/oh-cluck/

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    I've always allowed Pets. It's always given me a bit of an edge and allowed me to charge slightly higher rent.

    But as mentioned above, there can be more wear and tear and the deposit cap makes things harder.

    I would advise to ask about the breed, research how much they shed, smell, etc. Getting dog smell out of carpets is impossible! But not all dogs smell. Most importantly, it depends massively on the owner. I always ask to meet the owner with their dog beforehand to see how obedient the dog is.

    You have an added advantage of seeing how the tenant currently lives, so should be able to make a judgement call on what they're like and how tidy they are. Normally neat and tidy tenants will result in a well behaved dog.

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