A growing number of buy-to-let landlords are charging what has been described as a ‘pet rent’ of up to £50 a month per animal, according to The Guardian.
The report in the newspaper claims that some landlords are charging tenants with animals the additional rent as part of wider efforts to recoup costs following the introduction of the tenant fees ban.
“In certain letting agencies it seems to be a standard term in agreements,” Darren Baxter, a renter currently searching for a new home in York, told The Guardian.
“It seems exorbitant given the potential damage a pet can cause. We went to one place where they wanted a reference for the dog. That was ridiculous,” he added.
One letting agent told the press that the new practice of charging extra for animals had only emerged since June when landlords were banned from charging cleaning fees at the end of a tenancy or demanding an additional pet deposit as a result of total deposits being capped at five weeks’ rent.
Prior to the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act 2019, landlords often asked for pet deposits. Pet rents now mean they have no choice but to pay more.
“The only way to do it is to charge higher rent,” said Karolina Misiukiewicz of Elliot Oliver, an estate agent in Cheltenham.