A campaign has been launched to find out the true cost of damage caused to rental properties by tenants including their pets and children.

Organised by AdvoCATS founder Jennifer Berezai but supported jointly by LandlordZONE, the National Residential Landlords Association and Propertymark, the campaign is asking buy-to-let investors and letting agents across the UK to complete a short survey to help inform policy-making in Whitehall.

pets jen

Bereza (pictured)i, who has been lobbying key players within the PRS says she has been told ministers are aware of her organisation’s effort to provide a true picture of damage caused to properties during tenancies across the UK.

The purpose of the research is to provide accurate data of the type of damage caused in rental accommodation by adults, children and pets, as well as the cost to landlords and method of recovery. 

The results will be presented to Eddie Hughes, the Minister for Rough Sleeping & Housing, at the Department for Levelling Up Housing & Communities by AdvoCATS later this Spring, to further enhance their Heads for Tails’ report and proposals to amend the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and making renting with pets easier for both parties, thus avoiding the devastating impact of “no pets” clauses.

Berezai says: “We know that fear and cost of pet damage is one of the main barriers to landlords accepting pets, and this survey will give a better understanding of the reality of those fears, and how they compare to other causes and costs of damage.

“These questions haven’t been asked before, and the answers will give us a unique insight into landlords’ experiences.”

Chris Norris, Policy Director for the NRLA, adds: “We understand the importance that pets have for many renters, especially those wanting companionship.

“However, the system at present does not allow the true heightened risk of pets to be reflected in deposits.
“We encourage landlords to complete this survey as we work to ensure there is sufficient confidence to rent to tenants with pets.”

Take the survey, which is just 12 questions, here.
rent arrears

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark says: “Many renters are pet owners, but due to the Tenants Fees Act which caps security deposits, letting agents and their landlords are no longer able to fully mitigate the additional risks associated when letting their property to tenants with pets.

“We hope that the responses collected from this survey will strengthen our calls for changes to current rules and that the UK Government will explore options that incentivise landlords to rent to more people with pets.”

AdvoCATS was set up in 2018 to offer a free support and advice service to both landlords and tenants, and assist pet owners who experience difficulty finding rental accommodation. Its approach is also endorsed by 35 organisations including most recently, the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, Proptech-PR and ProtectaPet.


  1. Yet another slanted survey…….

    SURVEY QUESTION = “Which of these would encourage a “no pets” policy landlord to accept a Tenant with pets”? – but there is no specific option choice for “NOTHING – I WOULD NEVER ACCEPT PETS AGAIN”

  2. In the old days my dad 2 property was severely damaged by allowing his tenants have pets. The floors was damaged to the beams. Cat piss everywhere couldn’t even get builders to go in with the smell that bad! Door have been chewedup , wall scratched up .costing us thousands to replace everything. Was better off keeping it empty law or no law i refuse to let anyone have pets in out house that we have worked very hard for . Its not the animals fault its the owners who cant look after them

  3. Yes, my newly refurbished flat in London was trashed and furniture stolen. I took the tenant to court and won. They had three dogs (breaking the tenancy agreement) that made the place stink too. Long battle but well worth it. Having good records helped my case.

  4. About a year ago the plumber that works for the letting agency I use was hospitalised after being attacked by dogs when attending an after hours call out by the tenant who was in breach of the no pets clause in the tenancy agreement.
    Pets can be very dangerous… During the incident the plumber was fighting off the dogs and the tenant was confronting him saying “Hit my dogs and I will hit you”….

    That is the reality…

    No way will I ever knowingly allow pets in any of my rental properties.

  5. I have been a Landlord for 28 years now and, during that time I have, for some 20 years – long before concerns were being raised – worked closely with the homeless and probation services sectors indeed over 50% of my properties have been allocated to those sectors.
    I have to state that, whilst working with such sectors can be very rewarding etc, especially when people either stabilise their lives and/or get their lives totally back together, there are a number of inherent “problems” associated with these sectors.
    Indeed I would add that, if I rewound my life as a Landlord, the advice I would give to myself would be to help but minimise the number of properties allocated to those sectors.
    I’m not going to elaborate on many of the particular details as to why my mindset is as it is, except to state that the financial “rewards” are certainly less than letting properties to “private” tenants, the level of damage inflicted on properties by tenants from such sectors is far greater and, their management of pets – and numbers thereof – is rather less than ideal.
    In regard to the latter point, having been a pet owner myself for all of my life, I have never shied away from giving my permission for tenants to have pets, but always on the proviso that any pets they introduce into the property need to be house trained and – depending on the given type of property – suitable for the property – I consider it to not be sensible to have a large dog in a second floor flat etc.
    Tenants undoubtedly agree to comply with all such concepts and, what actually happens is that, before too long some have a menagerie of pets. However the bigger problem is that some will not be house trained – one has to be realistic that there will be hickups until the pets are of a relative age but after a short period of time such training should have taken effect.
    The result of this is – and I have personally observed this on more than one occasion – that the pet/s, particularly dogs will run into – say – the sitting room area and either pee or worse on on what was a nice new carpet at the outset of the tenancy. Added to which any “mess” that is done in the garden/on the paved area/s remain there for prosperity, with the explanation, “oh I was just about to pick it up today”!.
    Another negative that I have experienced on several occasions is where a pet has gnawed or made large “scratches” in woodwork/door linings/doors themselves.
    Unfortunately, politicians who make or subscribe to the rules – a number of whom are themselves Landlords – do not involve themselves with the lower or mid range of the letting “market” and therefore, neither they nor their letting agents, have any direct experience of the potential negatives associated with letting a property to someone who either has or who wishes to have pets in modest properties.
    There does need to be a system put in place whereby, if a tenant wishes to have one or more pets, then they themselves – regardless of whether the Tenant/s are on benefits or private tenants – pay an additional “pets deposit”, I suggest £200 per pet, possibly to be held by DPS or similar, or, the tenant has to legally take out an insurance policy to protect against such aspects. Such funds could then be used to offset against damage to the property caused by the pets.
    That way the tenants themselves may pay more attention to the actions of their pets and, Landlords may be more inclined to readily consider pets in their properties – regardless of what legislation states. There is no reason as to why a responsible tenant who considers that they can actually afford to keep a pet would not also allocate funds which protect against damage to a property purely as a result of the given pets.

  6. Having allowed small caged pets and cats and dogs in a couple of my properties my experience with the latter has not been great. The cats it turned out were kept as house cats and many carpets and reachable woodwork ended up with scratch and claw holes. The dog, (not at all it’s fault) was left alone for many hours and inevitably as a puppy chewed lower kitchen units, architraves, trashed carpets from chasing around the property and when removing the carpets after the tenant vacated realised it had done its business on all the carpets too – a clue was when said dog sidled up to me on an inspection visit and left a 3d deposit at the side of me! My plumber got to the stage where he affectionately nicknamed the property “The House at Poo Corner” due to the non collection of mess in the garden, despite bringing this up at inspections. The deposit did cover some of the damage, but nowhere near the true cost. I would not trust the word of some tenants to take out adequate pet insurance and would only begin to consider a policy I selected, to ensure the cover was suitable and the tenant paid up front and it was a condition of the tenancy they continued to pay, or the non payment could be used as a non payment suitable to use as a reason to evict if necessary.

  7. The bottom line is most tenants with pets are FECKLESS.

    They allow such pets to defecate in general in normal domestic circumstances

    Shitting and pissing on the floor is UNACCEPTABLE.

    Not the fault of the animal.
    Responsibilities are with the owner.

    No way would I allow pets who DON’T know they CAN’T shit or piss where the fancy takes them or chew and scratch where they like!!

    Once reason why pets are unacceptable to me.

    It 8s NOT the fault of the pet.
    .Any pet issues are down to the owner!


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