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.
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.
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.