Earlier this week, we gave you a rundown on the very real benefits associated with pet friendly properties. In this short guide, we will help you identify ways in which you can guard your property against potential, pet inflicted damage. Moreover, we have also outlined some useful measures that you could adopt, to ensure your relationship with your pet owning tenants is both, stress free and low risk.
Going pet friendly
These useful tips are easy to implement and can effectively safeguard your property from potential harm as a result of having pets live indoors. Besides helping you tap into the burgeoning pool of proud pet owners looking for pet friendly lets, these will also give your potential tenants confidence that you are a kind and considerate landlord. And we all know how important reputation is in business.
- Floor surfaces: Avoid using carpets and timber floors. Carpets absorb and retain odours, while pet claws can easily scratch timber floors. Instead, consider using vinyl. Not only is it warm underfoot, thus helping our furry friends keep snug, it is also easily cleaned in case of unexpected pet related accidents of a poo nature.
- Paint: Choose a quality name brand that is durable and easy to clean. Your tenants will simply be able to wipe your walls clean and good quality paints also tend to last longer between repaints.
- Ventilation: Ventilation is important, considering odours build up when pets are left indoors for long periods of time. Thus, ensure your property is planned with plenty of possibilities for aeration.
- Curtains generally prove to be tricky with pets who simply consider them friends to play with. Instead, blinds could be a smarter alternative due to their durability, and are less likely to fall prey to chewing.
Pet proofing your investment
While you are sure to win kudos from potential tenants for your permissive approach towards pets, it is important that you maintain a level of pragmatism when setting the fundamentals of your property’s pet policies. After all, your property is your investment and it is right to take steps to protect it against every eventuality. Here are some measures you can take to maintain a positive and low-risk relationship with your pet owning tenants.
- Type and number of pets: Being pet friendly does not necessarily mean that you must accept every pet. You can lay down conditions regarding the type and number of pets you want to accept in your property. For instance, a large dog in a small rental property may prove challenging for both, the landlord as well as the tenant. Thus, make your judgement on a case-by-case basis, and decide considering such factors as the nature of the animal, the property, its location, and the tolerance levels of your neighbours.
- Pet clauses: Including a pet clause in the tenancy agreement is useful in establishing conditions under which a tenant is allowed to keep a pet. Moreover, the pet clause can also define the damage redressal and property cleaning procedures at the end of the tenancy. For instance, you can request the tenant to have the premises, soft furnishings and carpets professionally cleaned, in addition to treating the property for fleas and mites.
- Pet deposit: A smart way to protect your property against additional cleaning and damage costs incurred by pets is to ask for a ‘pet deposit’. This can be included in the standard deposit, or treated as a separate deposit. It is important to remember however, that it is still a tenancy deposit. Thus, deductions should only be made in line with previously set expectations in the tenancy agreement. Moreover, it is also advisable to protect the pet deposit through a government approved scheme such as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
- Regular inspections: Lastly, ensure you regularly inspect your property as a best practice, and draw your tenant’s attention to any damages caused by pets. This will help you maintain your property, identify issues, and give your tenants a chance to rectify them.
The connection pet lovers have with their furry, finned or scaled companions may sometimes defy understanding. But it is definitely deep and enduring. By welcoming them, you’re able to take advantage of a piece of the rental market that’s sorely underrepresented. After all, animals need homes too.
City Landlord provides a range of products from Landlord Insurance to Tenant Content Insurance and Home Insurance to help you manage your properties with peace of mind. Give us a call on 0800 2944 546 today!