Landlords should consider charging tenants with pets more rent to cover possible extra costs as well as conducting more frequent routine property visits, according to leading letting agency Johns & Co.
The London firm advises that potential expenses could include an additional professional deep clean including steam cleaning carpets and some decorative works at the end of the tenancy.
'They could also consider some replacement furniture items if the property is furnished or part furnished and then add those costs to the rent,'� suggests residential director Clynton Nel (pictured).
With tenants due to be given the legal right to keep pets as part of the upcoming Renters Reform Act, landlords need to adjust tenancy agreements accordingly, says Nel, who recommends that they include a pet clause in the lease agreement.
'This way, boundaries are established from the outset. If your tenants agree to the terms, you'll have some protection if they fail to comply with the agreed terms regarding pets.'�
He suggests that landlords and letting agents should request a reference from a potential tenant's previous landlord, based on their experience with any pets to find out if damage or disturbance was caused, as well as asking for a pet CV.
'If they are hesitant to provide this for you then it may indicate that they know their pet is unsuitable for a rented property,'� says Nel.
'It's likely that your concerns about accepting a tenant with a pet stem from the risk of property damage and the financial consequences this may have,'� he adds.
'This is a landlord's risk renting to tenants with or without pets. I have seen properties with serious damage from tenants without pets.'�
In January last year the Government introduced a new model tenancy contract that includes provisions for pets.