Three-quarters of landlords will be forced to raise rents in the face of the new Renters (Reform) Bill, which as drafted will restrict their ability to refuse pets.
A poll by buy-to-let broker Mortgages for Business found that 60% will raise rents and take out insurance to cover pet damage while 17% would make no changes to their business model but would increase rents. Half of landlords said they would increase the size of tenants' deposit to help cover the costs of any potential damage caused.
A 2022 Propertymark report found that 85% of landlords and letting agents have incurred pet damage to their properties, with 57% unable to recoup the costs of damage caused by pets.
Under the new Bill, landlords will not be able to unreasonably refuse requests for keeping pets and must provide a good reason for the refusal.
Jeni Browne (pictured), director of Mortgages for Business, says government statistics suggest that only 7% of landlords market their properties as pet-friendly and that it is reasonable for them to refuse tenants with pets as they can damage properties and lower their market value.
'An important unintended consequence of the ill-conceived Renters (Reform) Bill is that three-quarter of landlords are going to be forced to jack-up rents for all tenants in case some of them have a pet,'� she adds.
'No wonder Michael Gove is backtracking over half of it already. This legislation will be fabulous for the minority of tenants who are actually pet-owners but it's not a great look for a government that's supposed to be helping tenants in the face of a cost-of-living crisis.'�