A landlady who’s hosted a veritable menagerie of animals in rental properties over the years says she’s so fed up with the resulting mess and damage that she won’t take any more tenants with pets.

She’s had problems with virtually every pet she’s agreed to home: one tenant kept a cat locked in the bedroom that caused extensive damage to a carpet and wallpaper, while another family kept a dog in the conservatory leaving a big clean-up job and bill when they moved out: the window sill was chewed, poo was ingrained in the door, while the floor was warped and soaked with urine.

The landlady, who is reluctant to reveal her identity for fear of reprisals, reports that cockatiels have pecked wallpaper off a bedroom and even fish have created huge bills, she explains: “The tenant managed to break a large fish tank, smashing water and fish all over the laminate flooring, wrecking the floor.

“I’ve also had problems with a tortoise that chewed the woodwork and skirting boards!”

Her comments follow the news that Adur & Worthing Councils have launched a new dog training scheme for homeless people to prove they can make responsible tenants.

“I’m a pet-lover and have dogs and cats,” she tells LandlordZONE. “But while I feel very sorry for any homeless person with a dog or other pet, I’m sick of the damage caused and filth left by tenants with pets who say they’ll look after properties.

“I’ve probably spent thousands of pounds over the years paying for repairs that pets have caused to carpets and walls.”

She adds: “If they introduce a bill to force landlords to take tenants with pets, I’ll have to put the rent up, maybe by £25 a month per pet to cover additional wear and tear.”


  1. It doesn’t seem to matter how many real experiences with pets that LLs give the powers that be know better! No tenants are bad tenants, no pets are destructive, all properties are suitable for pets. As the LL in the article says, if we are forced accept pets then rents will rise and all tenants will suffer. In addition I will think twice about new carpets, new kitchens, new doors etc. There are LLs who will accept pets and tenants who don’t want to have them – let us find our own match and offer appropriate properties to all tenants.

  2. Totally agree, the resulting damage and the resulting smell makes it near impossible to re-let a property without some expenditure.

    I’m all for new carpets etc etc but have stopped bothering now as what’s the point? Some tenants can’t look after themselves let alone a pet and whilst tenants promise they won’t have a pet they later sneak one in without the knowledge of the landlord.

    And what about the medical issues? Some Landlords may have pet allergies and then are forced to enter that home at end of tenancy how can this be right?

  3. I had to evict a nightmare tenant and her 2 dogs. She used the spare bedroom for the dogs. When she finally left, the carpet in this room was soaked in dog urine. I attempted to claim the money from her deposit but she appealed and the DPS agreed that she shouldn’t have to pay. She sure knew how to work the system, hoodwinking all the authorities.

  4. I absolutely agree with the above comments. I’ve always had a no pets policy for the last 12 years in both my flats. One couple of joint tenant’s asked if they could have a small goldfish bowl after the first year, I agreed as they had been good tenant’s. Following 6 months L/Lord inspection no problem, next 6 month’s inspection the goldfish bowl had changed into a very big Aquarium (1mtr long!) they hadn’t asked permission. I made them aware they shouldn’t have done it without permission but allowed them to keep it. A few month’s later they gave notice, no problems on the final checkout inspection. Flat re-let and after a couple of months the new tenants reported the carpet had started to go slack and ruckle up. On inspection it was the area where the Aquarium had been, lifted the carpet and found the carpet & underlay had been flooded and ruined, obviously this happened when the Aquarium was emptied. These tenant’s had split up and were untraceable. If the MP’s & Councillor’s that support allowing pets had to fund the damage caused themselves I wonder if they would then be so keen to support pets.

  5. I always avoided tenants with pets. Last year, after renovation, I was only looking for key worker tenants, considering the current covid situation. Eventually, found a couple, but they came with a medium sized dog, house trained apparently. So, I had to weigh up the good with the bad, applied an extra £20 to the rent, they appear to be very decent people.
    Future inspections will tell if it’s been a good bet or not, if not, charges will apply.

  6. When tenants have cats and I mean in the plural as we had one with over 19 cats,we lost count,the smell was ridiculously over powering,we had have the floors removed and the floor boards heavily sanded to remove the surface.
    Any cleaning products made the odour worse.
    They lived in a top floor block of four flats with commercial properties underneath.
    They would empty cat litter down the toilet and block the main stack system causing the bottom two flats and commercial properties to flood on a few occasions before we could work out the cause.
    No reasonable deposit can repair the damage and pay the huge cost for dyno rod to investigate and clear the problem

  7. I’ve had another with a dog that practically ate a kitchen and the door frames and skirtings .
    And again no reasonable deposit can cover the cost of a new kitchen and the installation of it.
    If we allow pets this should be at our own personal choice,we have to foot the bill for the repairs

  8. How councils treat their properties is completely different than private landlords.
    We have emotional,financial interest and commitment to our properties.
    We should be able to decide who is good for the well-being of our property.
    Why would we wanna give a beautiful new property with a nice garden to someone with animals knowing we will have to spend thousands when they leave.

  9. Whilst there is some good news contained within this latest newsletter, I’m getting a bit fed up recently of receiving nothing but horror stories about the ongoing plight of small-time landlords in the face of increasing legislation and tenants’ rights. I am almost beginning to think that Landlord Zone is working on behalf of the government to scare us all into selling up.

    Perhaps you could counter the tales of tortoises chewing the woodwork with a practical piece of journalism, giving us all a better idea of how we can continue to let our properties in the safest way possible. For example, would we be within our rights to only accept tenants who are willing and able to pay six months’ rent up front? Could we serve six months’ notice at the same time as issuing a tenancy to ensure that, should it be necessary due to non-payment of rent, we are ahead of the game in terms of beginning the eviction process?

    It would be great if someone with your knowledge and experience could perhaps offer some practical advice regarding what (albeit, little) we might be able to do to protect ourselves and our properties, within the current law.

  10. As a counterpoint to all the doom and gloom …
    We have two properties. The house has been let to a nice lady for 10 years, and her cats (plural) have been no problem.
    Our flat tends to change tenant every couple of years – mostly as tenants decide to move up to something bigger. Last tenant kept fish – again no problem. She did ask about keeping a rabbit – to which I suggested she think very carefully about the ramifications as male rabbits in particular can make a smelly mess very quickly. She decided not to go ahead with that one.
    A previous tenant also had a cat, but other than dirty paw marks on the walls from climbing onto window sills, that wasn’t a problem either.
    Last time we re-let the flat, we did have an enquiry from someone with a dog. I did turn that one down on the basis that the flat just isn’t suitable for a dog, even a small one, as there’s no-where outside it can be allowed to “exercise” freely.
    So perhaps we’ve just been lucky in not having had pet troubles. Flooding and associated damage from leaks in the plumbing in the flat above – that’s another matter !

  11. I’m a tenant not a landlord. I came here researching as my friend with pets is looking to rent. I personally rent privately and have one small well behaved dog. She won’t even toilet in the back garden we have to go for walks, and yes I do clean up after her.
    At a previous property I have paid a higher monthly rent to cover the risk of damage.
    How about more frequent landlord checks for tenants with pets ? I certainly wouldn’t mind.


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