New research reveals how adult tenants cause as much damage as pets in rental properties and that for smaller landlords, animal damage costs less to repair.
The survey of 537 landlords and lettings agents found 85% have experienced both kinds of damage while only 29% of landlords with between one and five properties report average repair costs caused by pets of at least �1,000 compared with 33% when caused by adults.
However, nearly half of all respondents have been unable to recoup pet damage costs specifically.
The findings follow the government's announcement in the Renters Reform White Paper, giving tenants the right to request a pet in a rental property, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. It also aims to amend the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to include pet insurance as a permitted payment so that landlords can require it to cover any damage.
The survey was undertaken by Propertymark, NLRA, LandlordZONE and pet charity AdvoCATS, which has long campaigned for a change in the law.
It found that reintroducing separate pet deposits and tenants holding pet damage insurance were deemed popular by 15% and 17% of landlords with between one and five properties respectively while having the tenant pay the landlord for insurance was popular with 44%.
Timothy Douglas (pictured), head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, says the data backs up what it and others have been warning for some time, namely that the unintended consequences of the Tenant Fees Act have reduced the appetite for many landlords to take on the greater risk of damage.
Jen Berezai (pictured), co-founder of AdvoCATS, adds: 'More than a third of tenants aspire to own a pet. Our survey results show that the majority of landlords and lettings agencies are in favour of a simple legislative change which will dramatically increase the number of landlords willing to accept pets, once they know they can protect themselves in the event of any pet damage.'�
Sean Hooker (pictured), Head of Redress at the PRS, says: 'The government's response to this research offering rights to tenants but also enabling landlords to ask they take out separate pet insurance is a sensible solution to a complicated problem.
'Landlords shouldn't be concerned that they will have to accept inappropriate or badly-behaved pets into properties they own under the renting reform White Paper proposals.'�