LandlordZONE readers are being urged to help academics discover what the sector really thinks about renting properties to tenants with pets.

The topic has been a hotly debated one this year as several campaigns and services have launched to persuade landlords rent to rent to tenants who want to live with cats or dogs.

But now Northumbria Law School and the Open University are conducting research into landlord concerns about ‘lets with pets’.

“We are asking that any Private Landlords who currently rent out property in England complete this survey, which should only take 15-20 minutes of their time,” says Dr Rachel Dunn, Senior Lecturer in Law at Northumbria University’s Faculty of Business and Law.

“The purpose of the study is to investigate the issues and/or barriers private landlords have when renting their property to tenants with cats and/or dogs.

“This research will therefore contribute to the growing debate over pets in private accommodation and what realistic reform to this area would look like for all parties.”

The survey is therefore an unusual opportunity for landlords to have their views on pets in rented property recorded. This is particularly important because ministers are mulling how rental deposit legislation and the Tenant Fee Act could be amended following hard lobbying by MP Andrew Rosindell and others.

The survey is being undertaken by the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS).

It was set up in 1979 by a group of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and veterinary surgeons to promote awareness and understanding of human-companion animal relationships.

This survey closes at midnight on 14th January 2022.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I have filled in the survey. Apart from the glaring error – ‘Do you take a pet deposit?’ – that would be illegal, there is nowhere to actually comment on why I don’t accept pets.

    I like cats and dogs, I even like some of their owners, but the simple fact is that there is no way to tell the good pet owners from the bad, until it is too late. The damage a pet can do is huge and the removal of the pet deposit made this a much bigger risk.

    With LLs leaving the sector (watch them rush for the door when EPC C comes) there are currently more renters than homes, so there is no need for most LLs to take this additional risk. I can choose to avoid tenants with pets because there are less risky prospective tenants looking for a home.

    When a tenant has stayed for a while and has shown themselves to be a good tenant, I have often allowed a pet. But upfront – no thanks. Ive been burned more than once so I no longer take the chance.

  2. Yes, Ive done the survey too

    As usual, it is slanted to favour the organisation conducting the survey.

    Where is the long list of reasons why Landlords would NOT accept pets?

  3. The government have greatly added to this problem by introducing the tenant fees act that bans additional deposits for pets. And now they expect landlords to help them out? Good luck with that. the majority are going to say no.

    As a pet lover, I do have several tenants with pets, mostly after they moved in. but I will always take on tenants without pets over someone that has them.

  4. I agree with Tricia and also wonder why the survey didn’t ask landlords why they don’t accept pets…… maybe it’s because they would need a HUGE answer box for LLs to give examples of pet damage and explain the reasons for not accepting pets, and the costs involved in making repairs to the property, fixtures and fittings!

  5. The study appears to start with the premise that tenants should be able to have pets. So the questionnaire etc is to then allow a debate about what can be done to facilitate this .

    The various bodies looking to tie landlords hands to improve the lot of renters is having the exact opposite effect. So the EICR stipulations recently brought in along with restrictions on pet bonds and deposit sizes simply increased landlords costs and risk . All that happens is landlords weigh up the viability of the investment, if risk increases so does the rent or alternatively landlords exit the sector.

    As various contributors have mentioned the resultant lack of available properties means landlords are increasingly able to let properties to only the best possible tenants. So no benefit claimants, no pets , high salaries, excellent references etc

    Against this market backdrop why would any landlord willing accept pets ?

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