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Landlords cannot recoup repair costs after pet damage - report

Landlords typically spend hundreds of pounds repairing properties damaged by pets, but unable to recoup their costs. 

That’s the claim from industry supplier The Lettings Hub which says more than three in four landlords reported damage by pets but with over half unable to recover their costs.

The research - in a new report called What’s the Damage? commissioned by pro-pet group AdvoCATS - follows the Rental Reform White Paper giving tenants the right to request a pet, and allowing pet insurance as a permitted tenant payment. 

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But The Lettings Hub says its report shows many landlords are still sceptical about how the practicalities of policing a tenant to obtain and maintain premiums on a pet damage insurance policy will be managed. 

Jen Berezai, co-founder of AdvoCATS, says: “With almost a third of landlords and letting agents surveyed stating pet damage costs of more than £1,000, it is clear more detail is needed on how pet insurance as a permitted tenant payment will work. 

“Our stats show that half of landlord and letting agents would prefer the option for a tenant to pay the landlord for pet damage insurance, so they have assurance that the policy is in place should anything go wrong. 

“What is also needed is more information at the outset of the tenancy; some tenants feel they cannot disclose that they have pets, but this can lead to problems further down the line.” 

Lettings Hub chief executive Heidi Shackell adds: “The White Paper proposals mean pet ‘fees’ are likely to be the first amendment to the Tenant Fees Act 2019. The options to protect letting agents and landlords, for example, taking an additional rent amount, an extra week’s deposit, or tenant-controlled pet damage insurance, all have weaknesses. The only sensible way forward is pet damage insurance that a landlord or letting agent holds, and that the tenant pays for.”

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    The tenant should show all pet certificates and adequate insurance. Pets name should be added to tenancy agreement as they could go on to get several pets
    Will pet damage be in the list of Section 8 eviction reasons? In future most rental property on offer will smell of damp dogs and possibility of fleas hatching to future non pet owning tenants.

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    Mr Khan
    The tenants just move the dogs in anyway,they just present you with a fait accompli. All these institutions think the government is going to be fair, but its not so far, it's constant landlord bashing. Further Johnson's wife is in Peta, read their website, they think animals are superior to humans !

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    Yes I let a 3 bed house to two professional women (not like that) and they moved two cats in that they were “looking after for someone else”. When they left I found the cats had copiously urinated on every single carpet in the place. All carpets and underlay had to be changed. The deposit covered about half the cost. But it can work in your favour. In another house I’d promised the tenant I’d change a huge carpet as it was a bit grotty. But then his wife got a cat so I said I’m not putting in a new carpet now. The cat is well behaved, the house is immaculate and the carpet has even cleaned up.

     
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    Pet insurance will just make a fat profit for the insurance company. The simple solution is to reintroduce the pet deposit. It was removing this that substantially reduced the number of LLs willing to accept pets.

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    Pet insurance, it needs to be paid for, and how many loopholes in it ? Essentially it's to protect the pet, not you. Vets bills and all that.

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    Yes Edwin exactly

     
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    So it will be like the Deposit Schemes to protect the Tenants money not the Property.

  • George Dawes

    I recall in the 70s , yeah I’m that old 😆 they had the pet rock

    Now that’s something I could get behind

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    Pet insurance will not work, it would have to be in the landlords name and trying to make a claim would be a nightmare, extra rent is the only way.

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    Of course it won’t work Andrew but when did Andrew Rossindale and his Jasmine law think to consult with us the owner who will have to pay

     
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    You will have to increase rents to 'self insure'. Even if new tenants do not have pets, there is no guarantee they will not have one in the future.

     
  • George Dawes

    Bought my dad a dog from Amazon

    It’s got batteries and a remote control

    Only difference between it and a real one is it doesn’t bark or stink the house out , a definite plus

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    Checkout the PETA website ! Carries dog, Dylan has, supposedly peed on important visitors and damaged the antique furniture at chequers.

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    Just another nail in the PRS, if this carries on we will have more nails than Homebase 😂

  • Shelley Munn

    I have just had to to rip out every piece if flooring in one of my rentals this week due to pet damage. All the underlay everything it's absolutely stinks! For a 3 bed that's expensive. Deposit doesn't cover the cost, and it wouldn't re rent unless it was done. I am not accepting pets again no way. I will sell rather than keep going through this ferris wheel of out of pocket costs. One sold 10 more in the pipeline...first one empty next year..bye bye!

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    So sorry to hear that Shelley!

     
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    Just because the deposit doesn't cover it doesn't mean we can't claim the cost from the tenants - I hope you did & used MCOL for the cost if they didn't pay.

     
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    My point is why should the LL be responsible for pet insurance this is a tenant responsibility and as has been pointed out it only covers health not damage so a tenant app will not qualify.

    Re Shelley Munn situation. That is the equivalent of criminal damage. A five week dep will not cover it. This Andrew Rossindale self promotion law will accelerate the end of private tenancies available for the public

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    Presumably there will be a new pet insurance product just for damage to rented property. Can you imagine how expensive it will be & how difficult to claim!

    Remember, insurance companies are there to make a profit not to help anyone!

     
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    I too have had to rip out all the carpets from a 3 bed house one so bad had to bleach the floorboards also the tenant did not ask/inform me they had a dog, normal door damage as well. In the past I've had a number of dogs in my houses without informing me they normally say that they are just looking after it for a week while the owner goes on holiday, but they never come back.
    And in HMOs guess who is responsible for the dog's waste
    Maybe a House rental should be like a car rental?
    So Glad I'm out of it now for good, I love saying that

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    Every time I have a void I have plenty of applicants and I pick the tenant that’s best for the property. The issue is tenants who have moved in and then want pets.

    Its a disgrace that the government forces us to allow tenants to have pets that can absolutely trash your property and then you’d struggle to even take from the deposit, let alone have enough money to replace all the carpets and furniture that may have been ruined. The problem is not so much the pets, it’s the fact that tenants are not adequately held responsible for the damage their pets may cause.

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    Why can't the government see that there is a huge difference in homeowners having pets and tenants having pets?

    If a homeowner's pet destroys the carpets, kitchen units, doors, etc the homeowner pays the full cost of repair, or claims on their insurance (which will mess up any no claims discount) or sells the house at a lower price than a property in good condition would fetch. Either way the full financial consequences are bourne by the pet owner.

    Until a situation can be reached whereby pet owning tenants face the same financial consequences as home owning pet owners it is completely unreasonable to expect landlords to facilitate pet ownership.
    The landlord is completely innocent in all of this. We provide decent long term homes for people. It is important those homes remain decent and aren't turned into zoos.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The Govt wants votes and doesn't give a Monkey's chuff about Landlords.
    I really don't understand how any Landlord could vote 'Conservative' - as they're anything but. !

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    I don't think any of the private rental sector policies are vote winners. Tenants are finding it much harder to obtain good accommodation now, and landlords are having their businesses destroyed by the new initiatives.

     
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    As a life long conservative voter, and I even voted for Boris to be leader, I've cancelled my membership and won't be voting for them again, might as well vote for the Monster Loony party, as for gaining the tenants votes ? I cannot see many tenants voting conservative

     
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    With Boris having been back stabbed by his trusted Sunak, Javid et all-what a quagmire for personal gains from public funds via votes 🗳 by ambitious multi millionaire top 50 rich 🤑 politicians!
    I voted Conservatives during the last GE & local elections. Boris and Patel were key factors for my, family, and business associates votes for putting Britain’s people first by implementing people’s vote/referendum after May had wasted time & my/taxpayers money in begging from Eucrates.

    I won’t go as far as voting for Loonies, Libbies, tax avoidance Sunak or back stabbers like Javid, but might be a candidate who actually puts Britain & it’s own people First, might as well be the Britain First political party - even if not the Landlords First - waiting and watching patiently.

    My motto for next elections votes 🗳 - #voteforbritainfirst

     
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    Shouldn't it be part of the contents insurance, as it is the contents that is damaged, not the pet. The landlord could take out contents insurance covering accidental damage and add the premium cost to the rent. If there is a claim the excess comes out of the tenant deposit.

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    Most of it would come under buildings insurance as it would be classed as fixtures and fittings rather than contents.
    Doors and kitchen units are part of the fabric of the building. Beds and sofas are contents. Floor coverings are a bit of a grey area.
    Pet damage can hardly be described as accidental as it's a totally foreseeable event.

    It's not just the excess that's the issue. It's also the no claims discount that would be lost (potentially across the entire portfolio). Why should a landlord face such severe consequences just because a tenant can't be bothered to supervise their pet?

    If insurance is the solution the insurance industry needs to come up with a new category of policy. The landlord must be the beneficiary of the policy, while the tenant must incur any loss of no claims discount. It needs to be a very comprehensive policy that covers fumigation, deodorisation, the void period while the kitchen, doors and floor coverings are replaced, etc. It needs to be completely separate from the landlords standard buildings and contents policy. If standard landlord policies will be expected to cover pet damage the premiums will increase across the board so tenants without pets will face increased rent to cover the increased costs to landlords.

     
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    Contents policy won’t cover anything.
    Long story short:
    Pet ran into the toilet 🚽 unit at fast speed-resulted in a tear drop leak spreading into the whole flat damaging carpets+underlay and wooden furniture, apparently the tenant thought that damp carpet patches were due to hot weather & humidity.
    Contents insurer declined £8k+ damages claim.
    Tenant left without informing the landlord & resigned from the job, so no chance of recovering damages from the tenant, landlord left licking their financial wounds by tenants/their pet.

    In my & associates properties - #saynotopets including #comfortpets for HSE reasons - severe allergic reactions to all pets (except Goldfish), can result in a human’s death by allergy hence for human rights #nopetsallowed.

     
  • Rachel Bird

    I don't go to my tenant to get Pet Insurance for me if I get a dog at my own house. I would have to get my own Pet Insurance, that's if I had a dog.

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    Why should a LL be responsible for insuring other people’s live Stock, just get them a Teddy .

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    So I guess, the only option, until a better option comes along, is to increase rents across the board to cover the costs of when there might be pet damage. It is uncertain if any tenants will have pets and if the pets will cause any damage, so you would have to average this out across your portfolio. So everyone pays more rent.

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    And that is where the policy backfires on the people it is supposed to help!

     
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    Tricia, it's meant to help big business and the banks ! The only people bothered about the tenants are decent landlords!

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    They don’t give Tenants much credit, telling them they are on their side while every regulation they made have caused increase in their Rents probably adding up to 20/25% in recent years. Tenants are educated and intelligent people does Government think Tenants don’t know the difference between propaganda and rising Rent. Same goes Mr Sadiq Khan saying he’s committed to helping Tenants while robbing thousands from C/tax payers or even from each is individual
    property he takes hundreds of £’a in c/tax, they can do without his kind of so called help.

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    I have the rent set 10% higher than I want. I then offer the tenant 10% discount for not having a pet. I explain that as soon as they move a pet in the 10% discount will be removed. I’m not sure if it would stand up in court but I have no pets in my properties.

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    Good idea! I would think you could justify it on the basis of the lower risk of damage where there is no pet, and citing previous examples of cost of repairs after pet damage.

     
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    Having googled insurance for pet damage in rental properties apparently tenants could get insurance against being taken to court by 3rd parties ie if their dog attacks someone or damages someone else's property (ie landlords). Problem would be even if they took out such insurance at start of tenancy they could presumably cancel it any time, and you'd have to take them to court. Often it's the smell that's the worst thing, and the court won't really get the full effect of that unless they visit the property, and you'd obviously lose months of rent in the meantime. I have found even professional carpet cleaning doesn't get rid of that smell, you have to get rid of the carpets and underlay and replace with new.

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    I've heard an ozone generator will get rid of any smell.

     
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    I would rather use a baited bear trap to get rid of the cause of the smell!

     
  • John  Bentley

    No pets, no smell.

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    I don't know about that, some people leave a smell worst than pets

     
  • Matthew Payne

    Insurance won't work for several reasons. 1. the tenant wont care about any claim, they are leaving, so it will be for the landlord to do all the leg work. 2. The premium paid for by the tenant could be classified as a prohibted payment, we are still awating the outcome of an adjourned county court case, where the judge has so far determined that a simliar zero deposit premium is one. Could be a couple of years before we know. 3. There will be a number of standard pet dliaps the insurance policies won't cover simply because the insurers will not want to have a claim made for every single tenancy, and I get that. Eg: Steam cleaning carpets wont be included, but who will then pay for it? I will put money on these policies only covering signficant damage, as opposed to the usual extra wear and tear that "well behaved" dogs and cats create just by existing. There are several hundred £s of these after each tenancy that then wont be covered which formerly made up the vast majority of claims from deposits.

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