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Pets In Lets: deposit firm gives landlords tips on how to prepare

The Deposit Protection Service has given landlords tips on how to prepare their homes for pets because, it says, the single largest reason why private tenants move is to find properties accepting animals.

Around a thousand tenants who moved between October 2021 and March 2022 took part in the DPS survey, with 30 per cent saying they had done so to accommodate a pet.

In a similar survey last year only seven per cent cited pets as the most significant influence over their decision.


In this year’s survey just 11 per cent of respondents cited ‘more outdoor space’ as the reason for their move, making it the least common influence over their decision.

Last year 18 per cent said that outdoor space was the most important factor.

Matt Trevett, managing director at The DPS, says: “The easing of [Covid] restrictions earlier this year means tenants are typically not as interested in moving from cities to more rural or suburban areas as they understandably were during the height of the pandemic.

“However, it’s interesting to see that the reported popularity of pets during the lockdown period seems to be having a continued influence over tenants’ priorities.

“The present high level of demand for rental properties means that tenants who secure homes that allow pets typically stay for longer, resulting in more certainty for both tenant and landlord.

“Tenants should however understand and respect any obligations that come with having a pet and consider what changes they may need to make to meet a ‘pet-friendly’ tenancy agreement, which may reduce the chances of issues when they move out.”

The DPS has issued six tips to organise a pet living at a property - and these would apply before landlords are forced to accept pets, which may be the end result of the new rental reform white paper released by the government.


1: Confirm ‘pet rules’ in writing

Landlords should be clear on any rules that allow pets in the property, for example the limit on the type or number of animals or whether the tenant can or cannot breed the animal at the site – and put those in writing.

Landlords should share the document with the tenant, and both sides should sign it and keep a copy in case there are disputes or damage at a later stage. Landlords cannot ask for a separate deposit to cover pet damage, however.


2: Get the right insurance

Landlords should check that their property’s insurance policy includes accidental pet damage, a feature that is not always standard. Landlords may need to alter or find a new policy to ensure coverage.



3: Emergency contact

Tenants should also provide an emergency number for somebody who can look after the pet if they fall ill and need to go to hospital.


4: Landlords must by law allow certain pets

Landlords must always allow people with disabilities who need an assistance dog to have one inside the property. 

5: Ask for a pet reference

Landlords can also ask for a pet reference from a previous landlord or vet to understand whether the animal is aggressive or has received its vaccinations and correct treatments. They can also ask to see the pet as part of their pre-tenancy checks.


6: Arrange regular inspections

Landlords and tenants should agree regular inspections to assess and discuss the condition of the property, which can reduce the chances of a dispute about any pet-related damage at the end of the tenancy.

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  • icon

    So last year people wanted outside space and this year they don't. Presumably they've discovered outdoor space takes time to look after and is only enjoyable for a few weeks a year.
    This year they want to keep pets. Maybe by next year they will have worked out animals require a lot of care and attention that anyone working full-time is unlikely to be able to give the animal.

  • icon

    Some very good points there, I've always been open to consider a tenant with a pet, and have, and have had, some really good ones, I used to ask for an increased deposit, as I cannot do that now it has to be an increased rent in order to factor in possible costs when the tenant leaves, it locks like now every tenant will have to pay that extra rent whether or not they have a pet, just incase. All coming to light as the '' unintended consequences, of these new rules .

  • Matthew Payne

    I sometimes wonder whether people who come out with this stuff, actually exist in a faraway parallel dimension, one clearly where supply outstrips demand by 10x and landlords are desperately trying to impress any passing tenant to rent their property.

  • Franklin I

    You take away our 10% wear and tear, and replace it with a compulsory "Pets in Lets" policy.

    The government better start building its own homes for future tenant's, as the PRS future is looking more bleak each week!

  • icon

    £25 extra per pet per month. Can’t see many tenants wanting the cost of a pet in the current cost of living crisis.

  • icon

    Our charge was an extra £50 per month soon to be £100 per month as we find all carpets need changing after a let with pet.
    Considering taking carpets out before a pet let and allowing/making tenants take carpets with them when they leave. If we were allowed to take larger deposit initially wouldn’t need to do it. Not my fault you know who to blame


    You are right about the carpets. No amount of cleaning gets rid of those pet smells. Interesting that the housing association locally lets all properties with no carpets, so tenants have to provide their own, whether there are pets or not.


    Sad Landlord - You know I think it could get to that - Supply your own carpets. I personally wouldn't want to rent a place that smells of dogs. Once a pet let house will end up staying a pet let house.

  • David Ray Billing Better

    Does anyone know the percentage across the country of tenants who actually have pets now?

    What do professional landlords think the actual percentage of demand is, from new tenants wanting to have pets?

    It's a really interesting topic, although I just wonder how big a topic it really is, are there any thoughts?


    20% of mine.

    Matthew Payne

    It will be far higher than any stats will show, I reckon you can double whatever the offical number is. 20% declared in any survey becomes 40% in reality.


    Depends what type of tenant group you let to.
    Families and retired people are more likely to want pets than students or young professionals.


    Currently 38%, but whenever I advertise a property the first question is do you take pets? Then, is it a long let? Then, how much is the rent, deposit etc? Despite all this being clearly stated in the advert, if they did but read it.

  • George Dawes

    I can see in the future tenants having their own ant farms

    That’ll keep them fed at least


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