Key figures from the world of landlords and pets have sat down to begin thrashing out a solution to the current ‘pets in lets’ conundrum vexing the sector.

Organised by tech platform The Lettings Hub, the inaugural meeting kicked off by highlighting the key challenge that needs to be met, namely that while 82% of tenants want to rent with their pet, 35% of landlords actively ban pets from their properties.

To find a solution, the working group is now preparing several more sessions which will look at the different options on the table, although the most likely will be some sort of insurance, most probably taken out by the tenant.

This first meeting was attended by representatives from campaigning group AdvoCATS, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, several letting agencies from across the UK, trade association Propertymark, insurance underwriters, the Property Redress Scheme and tech firm Inventory Hive.

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, says: “We have been warning for some time that the unintended consequences of the Tenant Fees Act have reduced the appetite for many landlords to take on the greater risk of damage.”

Heidi Shackell (pictured) CEO of The Lettings Hub said “Pets are an emotive subject for both landlords and tenants, at The Lettings Hub we are committed to delivering solutions and products which support and protect all parties.

“Collaborating with experts across the lettings and pets’ sectors allows us to truly understand how these changes are set to impact our customers and allow us to develop a holistic resolution.”

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Sean Hooker (pictured) Head of Redress at The PRS, adds: “Tenants rightly don’t want to feel discriminated against for wanting to have a pet, however landlords should feel they are protected.

“The challenge is how to deliver this in a satisfactory and cost-effective way and gathering the experts into one room is a fantastic start!”

Landlords wishing to take part should email Jessica.langley@lettingshub.co.uk

8 COMMENTS

  1. Insurance taken out by the LANDLORD and paid for in full up front by the Tenant.

    It will NOT work the other way around;

    1. tenants can show a Policy Certificate and then cancel it within 14 days for a refund.
    2. landlords need to have the level of cover THEY require, not just a “token policy” taken out by the tenant.
    3. eviction must be MANDATORY should a tenant get a pet without permission / effective insurance.

    None of the above will be implemented so landlords will continue to say No, tenants will continue to ignore the Agreement and it will end badly – as usual.

    • So now another talking shop to find a solution to the’pet problem’. There is only one solution – NO PETS unless a sizeable (at least £1K) pet deposit in adddition to the 5 weeks deposit and automatic eviction for flouting the no pets rule if applicable to the tenancy agreement.
      If a tenant wants a pet then they should move to social housing – good luck with that!
      Any automatic right for a tenant to have a pet will lead to a further shrinkage of the available accommodation to rent and increased rents. How is tht going to help tenants?

  2. We had a workable solution – it was called a pet deposit! Insurance just makes a profit for the insurance company and we all know that the first thing an insurance company does when you try to make a claim is say ‘No’!

    The only solution that will make me consider pets is an additional deposit & the right to demand a professional clean at the end of a tenancy.

      • Only £2K? I’ve had to replace laminate flooring in two rooms, stair carpet, wallpaper, a whole lawn and completely clean a whole house of dog fur due to the outgoing tenant having a dog – and that’s not to mention the two overflowing buckets of dog dirt left in the yard. That was more than £2k in cleaning, repairs and lost rent.

  3. Legally a landlord can only as for max 5 weeks rent as security deposit regardless of pet issues… Therefore

    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/paying_a_tenancy_deposit

    Therefore LL’s cannot buy insurance themselves and ask the tenant to pay upfront nor can any landlord legally take a deposit of more then 5 weeks even if the tenant wants to offer a larger deposit.

    As far as I can see the only viable solution is for LL to buy additional pet insurance on their buildings insurance and pass that on to the tenant in the form of higher rents.

  4. A plumber working for a local letting agency was recently attacked by three dogs whilst attending a call out. There was a no pet clause in the AST which was ignored by the tenant. The plumber was hospitalised.

    The ONLY totally safe pet is the one in the Taxidermist shop window.

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