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Generation Rent offers existing tenants advice on getting a pet

The growing debate over whether pets should be allowed in private rental property has attracted the attention of activists’ group Generation Rent.

In a blog entry on its website over the weekend the group says: “If you are already renting a property and you would like a pet, the first thing you should do is contact your landlord about it. There are some pros to letting out to pet owners you should mention in this contact. It indicates that you are more likely to stay in the property long-term, meaning the landlord will not have to go through the costly and time-consuming process of putting the property on the market.”

Generation Rent then quickly comes to the subject of money and says: “If they [landlords] mention the risk of damage to the property, remind them that the deposit you will have already paid them would cover this damage. However, do not forget that the landlord cannot claim back any money from the security deposit for fair wear and tear, so they should not claim back any of the deposit if you simply own a pet that has not caused damage during your tenancy.”

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In recent months there has been growing discussion over whether pets should routinely be allowed in private rental flats and houses.

The government’s new model tenancy agreement makes it a default condition that landlords should allow pets so long as they are owned responsibly and well-behaved; the new agreement is not compulsory and is not thought to be widely used.

Generation Rent suggests ways to demonstrate responsible ownership and good pet behaviour. 

 

It says: “Firstly, you need to go to your vet and ask them for a letter confirming your animal is neutered and in receipt of regular flea/worm treatment, that their vaccines are up to date and (if it’s a cat or dog) that they are microchipped.

“Secondly, if you have a good relationship with your current landlord, you can also ask them for a pet reference confirming they’ve never had any pet related issues during your tenancy.

“Finally, take pictures of your current property, especially the carpets, soft furnishings (if not yours) and wall coverings to show there’s no pet damage.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • George Dawes

    How they can justify having a dog in a flat with no outside space is beyond me .

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    Ditto that. I currently live in an urban environment with mainly apartment buildings. There are so many dogs, all having to be kept on a leash in very nice but limited town parks. They don't get 'real' exercise because they can't be off-leash. Even the cats are kept on-leash in the city. There is no right to have a pet; you should only have a pet that your environment can cater for. I've lived in plenty of places that I've deemed not suitable for an animal and despite badly wanting a pet, wouldn't subject any animal to an unsuitable environment.

     
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    * not hovels, just not enough space or safety for small animals :)

     
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    Generation Rent now the experts advising Tenants about keeping pets. They didn’t mention its not feasible to have Carpets with dogs. Just add this to my comment 2nd May ‘21, 20.43pm. The Laminate Flooring is ruined as well, swelled / deteriorated from the 2 dogs wee-ing on it that they weren’t allowed to have in a one bed Flat, now they want to make it official to have pets when they are taking diabolical liberties already. The place is like a tip you can’t hardly walk on the floors so much rubbish & discarded items. I have plenty of photos nothing cleared yet, obviously no income from it at present but me pay c/tax on vacant, maybe Generation Rent would like to come & clean up, while they are at it replace the multi-point locking system to front door that has been attacked. It was too much to mention on last blog for one bed Flat but this one is getting too long to.

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    Generation Rent admit there will be wear and tear but say that that should not be taken from the deposit as it is not damage. They don't say that you shouldn't be surprised when your rent goes up - the only way to cover the extra wear and tear a pet causes.

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    As a tenant and a responsible dog owner, I can assure you that my dogs have never caused any damage. If they had, then I would have paid for it. Excluding me because of a pet is wrong.

     
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    Practically every pet owner would claim the same.

    Experience tells us otherwise.

     
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    Julian, I understand that to you it is unfair, but as a landlord (also a renter btw), I have a duty to both myself AND MY MORTGAGE LENDER, to prevent the property from losing value. If you google 'dog damage' or variations thereof, you will see plenty of horror stories; to furniture, walls (wallpaper and plasterboard), carpet, doors and lawns (digging, ur*ne stains). You are thinking as a responsible person. As a landlord, I have to think worst case scenario because I may be stuck with the tenant for years, given the current regulatory/eviction climate.

     
  • Neil Moores

    To be fair, Generation Rent seem to be sending a positive message to their tenants and how they should approach their landlord about having a pet. They mention that the deposit cant be used for fair wear and tear if is NOT related to the pet damage and that is correct. I didn't see anything in their advice that suggested that they should be able to house a dog in a 1 bedroomed flat. I accept pets if the conditions suit and, unfortunately for tenants, I now charge a slightly higher rent as I am unable to take extra deposit for potential pet damage and to allow for future issues created by dormant flea eggs and the like. if the government is so confident that allowing pets as a default should become the law then I presume that they would feel comfortable underwriting losses from pet damage that exceeds the deposit held. It would be a simple process of the TDS (other agencies are available) making a decision that defines the amount any of the damages that are deemed to be pet related so that their decision can be used in order to claim this money back from the government.

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    The huge costs of remedying potential pet damage is a risk no landlord should be compelled to take and no compensation scheme would ever cover it.

    What about future tenants or landlords who might be allergic to such animals?

    Generation Rant, Shelter etc only help to build barriers between decent tenants and landlords who can co-exist very well exercising common sense and decency.

    Leave us alone and stop supporting rogue tenants who only harm the decent ones.

     
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    I also am prepares to '' consider '' tenants with a pet at an increased rent but only in a suitable property with a garden, flats are not suitable for a dog .

     
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    No way. NO to pets and all the other subjects i mentioned and have applied for over 35 years.
    My property, my rules. Simple.

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    As a qualified dog trainer and dog owner, I respect your sentiments. But as a tenant, My Home, My Money. Simple.

     
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    JE

    If you don't own the property, it's NOT yours to set the rules. The clue is in our title - LandLORD.

    If you obey our rules, we'll get along just fine.... otherwise it's a goodbye from us.

    My property, bought with my money. Simple.

     
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    Robert. You continue to LORD it over your tenants but don't be surprised if you get back what you give out.

     
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    JE
    I've been pretty happy with how over 300 of my tenants have behaved and have got on very well with all but 3 of them over the last 20 odd years.

    Incidentally if you look at your initial response above, you were first to flex your muscles, suggesting your position as a rent paying tenant gave you rights in what you termed your home.

    I merely reminded you how limited such rights are in the real world when occupying property owned by others who decide the extent of the rights conferred in return for payment of rent.

     
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    Generation Bent are absolutely clueless. Leave professional Renting to Professional LLs.

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    Generation should pay and stand as a guarantor for all damages caused by pet.

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    Would you trust them as guarantors? I wouldn't and doubt if many of them have ever worked hard enough to have any decent collateral.

     
  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    We find landlords in our experience ( and upon our advice ) are insisting on Guarantors for ANY Tenant, let alone one with a pet, as the problem is tenants tend to suddenly acquire a pet without consulting the landlord.

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    Anyone who puts a pet into my properties gets a Section notice without any excuse. Cats bring fleas and Damage to and so do dogs and leave a smell that can prove impossible to remove.

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    Sadly Steve you are completely wrong. A well-cared and properly trained pet is no more a cause of damage than a child. You are obviously not selecting the right type of tenant. I suggest you look at the way you are selecting your tenants.

     
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    We select VERY carefully. No pet owners. Simple.

    P.S.. Childless tenants also very often preferred but sometimes that is beyond our control, and apparently often beyond tenants' control.

    By only buying expensive desirable properties I have been usually able to avoid undesirable tenants.

     
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    We have had infestation so expensive and difficult to deal with, cost falls to LL, it enough to be dealing with their Bed Bugs, travelling the World sleeping god knows where and bringing it back, then they’ll be quick to report it to Council.

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    Julian, i do the stringent of referencing and interviewing but some times only twice in 35 plus years i have a tenant bring a pet into My property after they moved in and on both occassions they were out of my property within the month.No messing, No amount of crying, No excuses. Gone history. Simple. Still apply the same rules Today, No Animals of any description.

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    As you said previously, your house. But what about good tenants who are not the a-holes you have let to recently? Can they not have a pet in what is after all their HOME that they are paying a huge chunk of cash to you for the right to live in peace?

     
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    Julian

    In my properties NO but you're welcome to try elsewhere.

     
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    You got a tenant out within a month? How?

    You do not have to answer, but anything you do say may be taken down and may be used in evidence. On the other hand, we may draw an appropriate inference from a refusal to answer.

     
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    Steve Sykes.
    I second your stance, and apply the same in my properties.
    There are no guarantees that even a trained human will not damage properties, so how can a trained pet (owner/trainer) give guarantees that their pet won’t damage anything, or hurt itself, or attack someone etc!
    I don’t keep pets, stay away from pet owners, prefer humans to animals, and am happy to take the risk of keeping humans as my tenants-not animals/no matter how well trained/certified/guaranteed they are.
    My, and family’s hard earned money/capital in the form of properties is not going to be wasted on housing anyone’s animals-end of.
    It’s for humans usage only.

     
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    Seeing the agressive replies to my postings on here I have to ask why do you want to be a professional landlord. It looks like you all just want the money but don't actually want the people. I would have thought you're in the service business, serving society by providing safe and affordable homes for people to enjoy living in.

     
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    J E

    We want suitable people, not unsuitable animals.

    We don't need to accept pet owners as there are plenty of other tenants wanting high quality homes and we don't want to expose ourselves to the added expense, hassle and heartache which we would risk by trusting pet owners.


     
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    • 04 May 2021 16:45 PM

    Steve...Well said.
    Animals = trouble.
    Anyone breaking my rules in the contract, and they are gone too.

    Just wait a few more months and all these defaulters will have an enormous shock.

    And good luck to them getting any accommodation.

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    Erm, aren't you forgetting that tenants PAY YOU. You need them as much as they need you. Arrogant and narrow-minded landlords are just as bad as poorly behaved tenants.
    LANDLORDs = trouble. How about Landlords living up to their side of the bargain and investing in their properties that are the HOMES of their tenants?

     
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    Plenty of tenants to choose from, so no need for pet owning tenants in my properties.

     
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    I just bought a dozen houses from the trustee in bankruptcy of a landlord who thought that. Cheap as chips, they were.

     
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    • 04 May 2021 16:46 PM

    Any of them in future who defaulted during the Pandemic, will receive no help whatsoever from me.
    Their default is their fault. Not mine.

    They must pay their debts.

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    What a generous and compassionate person you are.

     
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    What's this got to do with pets?

     
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    • 04 May 2021 16:48 PM

    A pet in any of my houses, is, to me, a default.......And that means they go immediately.
    Read the bloo**y contract.

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    So thankful that I don't have to rent from you! My money will stay along way from your bank account.

     
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    You're catching on.

    No chance of your money hitting our bank accounts!

     
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    Julian who you rent from is your choice, and who we rent to is our choice, no shortage of tenants looking in my area.

     
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    Looks like JE is one of the many a***holes we discuss here on a regular basis. Clearly a disgruntled tenant and certainly NOT a landlord.

    Push off you self serving fool and stop complaining about landlords who will not have pets in THEIR homes when you have no experisnce linked to bad pets and worse owners who are nose-blind and deaf to the constant noise with unruly dogs. Had a next door neighbour with 6 yappy dogs and were delighted when they moved out. Out came the champers that day!

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    Rude. No surprises you have so many problems with your tenants if this is your attitude.

     
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    JE, please look at your comment. It is entirely destructive. If you wish to make peace with 'the enemy' (which I assume is LLs in this instance) and get them to see your point of view, you need to be constructive. At least be neutral. Insults lead nowhere but to war.

     
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    I don't view landlords as 'the enemy'. I just believe that the landlord - tenant relationship is a symbiotic one. Why not have a mutually caring relationship instead of one where you are fighting? I am in favour of a relationship where both parties look out for each other and look after the property. Both can win. Show some love to your tenants be the change you want to see.

     
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    J E I agree with you, tenant - landlord relationships should be a caring one, and in most cases they are.

     
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    Thank goodness J Eagles!

    I wouldn't want your allergy causing, smelly, pet stained money stinking up my bank account!

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    JE thanks for reminding me, the right type of Tenant is the one’s without dogs.
    Its not your property if I own it. I have a property currently destroyed with dogs. Buy your own & we’ll get along fine but don’t impose you ideas on me.

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    Sorry JE, you are getting some stick. I am sure that you are a good living person really but with all LL rights eroded and no power left to do anything, its best not to allow animals just adding more problems. There is no big chunk of Cash we have loads of Costs unfairly imposed on us apart from buying the Property including putting our money at stake, then there’s the matter of 40% tax on letting income unless you Rent from Council who don’t pay tax.

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    I'm wondering about our friend J E , in an earlier comment he said he had been waiting 5 yrs for his landlord to carry out repairs, why is he still living there ? if I were in his shoes I would have moved onto another property with another landlord, maybe, just maybe J E is the kind of tenant that no good landlord with a good property would touch at any money, perhaps J E you could tell us all why you have not moved on ?

     
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    Please please JE, leave us professional LLs alone. This is what we professional LLs do though,, one we have found our 100% excellant tenant after we have carried out every check possible on them, we give them Our Keys to Our property. We give them an Inventory, we give them an ECP, we give them a Gas Cert, we give them an Electrical Report. We have also professionally cleaned Our property before they Move In. Then they would have paid a SD and their First Months rent. So far so good. We will visit Our property to carry out an Inspection every 3 months?. If in meantime the tenant has a problem in Our property like boiler not working we will send a Gas Safe engineer around within 24 hours or sooner. If they have water leak we will send a plumber round within 24 hours or sooner, and so on, do you get my drift because the tenants pays us Our rent every money to stay in Our property. If he respects Our property as per Our tenancy agreement he or she has signed and the neighbours and pays the rent on time he or she can stay there, if he or she does not he or she will be asked to leave and served Notice. All very simple and straightforward.

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    Robert, you and I normally think along the same lines, let me ask you, what is your reaction to the guy that comes on here bragging about just buying a dozen houses cheap as chips ? my thoughts are 2 words, the first starts with a big fat B, there is a saying here in Norfolk '' real money dresses down'' I've normally found that to be accurate , LOL

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    Andrew

    We're still on the same wavelength! I'm not sure whom he was addressing anyway,

    I've never bought cheap properties as I don't want tenants who want cheap properties and low rents.

    Incidentally the more my bank balance has grown, the scruffier I look - much to my wife's annoyance!

     
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    Who can tell the bones of the man that wore the ragged jacket. Chips are not cheap anymore I paid for £2.50 for a portion at the chipper other day, the way inflation is going not long before we’ll be saying as dear as chips.

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    👍Lol 😂 👏

     
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    JE, I do rent out quality affordable accommodation to people which is the business I run and happy to do that. However, sorry I don’t rent out Kennels.

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