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Tenants with pets and children pay more, survey claims

Parents and pet owners are paying as much as £460 per month more for rent and bills, it’s claimed.

The claim comes from website Confused, which asked 2,000 UK renters about their current living situation.

Some 33 per cent currently have a pet at their rental property, while around three in 10 have children. Of these, 13 per cent have had to pay their landlord an additional bond or deposit, and 10 per cent had to pay an extra cleaning fee. 


The site claims parents are more financially penalised. It says parents have paid as much as £286, on average, to their landlord for deposits or bonds, while those with pets paid around £236, on average. And when it came to cleaning fees, parents have had to pay £174, on average, compared to £151 from those with pets.

When looking at average costs for all renters, monthly rent is currently around £586 per month. But three in four of all renters said that this has increased, on average, by £77 in the past 12 months.  

On top of rental costs, ‘essential’ bills such as electricity and council tax are costing renters around £352, on average, each month.  

Some 82 per cent of renters said they have experienced issues - damp and mould (44 per cent); issues with their boiler or heating system (41 per cent); plumbing (40 per cent); wear and tear (26 per cent); broken or faulty appliances (23 per cent).

There was some positive news for landlords. 

For renters whose landlord sorted issues out for them, 32 per cent say that these were fixed between two and five days. Around one in 10 waited for more than a month to get issues fixed. 

The majority of people surveyed said they have a very good (37 per cent) or somewhat good (32 per cent) relationship with their landlord - although 42 per cent do also think that landlords or estate agents are taking advantage of renters in the current financial climate.

According to the research, the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill seems to be welcomed by the majority of renters. Some 54 per cent of the survey respondents said they think the Bill will protect tenants. 

A spokesperson for Confused says: “Our latest data shows how renters with pets or children may be paying more than others - which could seem unfair. But potential new rules for landlords could mean that this changes in the near future.

“With the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill soon in England, both landlords and tenants should have greater clarity on their living arrangements and financial commitments. And although this doesn’t exist elsewhere in the UK just yet, it doesn’t mean similar rules won’t apply in future. 

“These changes should mean that some tenants won’t be financially penalised, leaving them with some additional income during a difficult and expensive time.”

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    It doesn't make clear if this is comparing like for like properties or if it is simply stating parents and pet owners are more likely to live in properties with gardens or more bedrooms, which are obviously going to be more expensive.

    Does it mean the deposit was the figure quoted
    (seems very low) or that was the average amount withheld at the end of the tenancy?

    The amount for essential bills seems very low and probably explains why nearly half experience damp and mould issues. I can only dream of essential bills in any of my houses being that low, especially as they've included Council Tax.

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    What a load of old trash at least they got their name right they couldn’t be more Confused.
    It didn’t say how many are being supported and subsidised by the tax payers on Benefit and Housing Support, is it all ? or do they think it’s not relevant.
    54% think The Renter’s Reform Bill is a good thing, it proves they are oblivious to what’s going on at don’t know what it is, with landlords selling up it will be more difficult to find places to live but granted if they get in the door they’ll be Cuckoo’s for ever.
    I should think it’s easier for them to pay more when the larger chunk is free.
    Why didn’t Survey ask how many of them caused mould and condensation rather than asking did the deal with a problem he didn’t cause.
    I never kept back a Deposit or part there of in 45 years that’s before real Deposits were taking away by Shelter in 2007 bases on a pack of lies when they alleged up to 45% of landlords with held Deposits.
    Only one thing left now is take the Rent away which is happening every day chipping away at it with more costs and burdens. I can see a big crash ahead more taking out of the pot than putting in, even the big Multi National’s are being subsided, remember that when you have your take aways delivered for a couple of pounds, all those guys are getting support by the tax payers, its good for those young guys on bikes a mopeds but at the same time making extra millions for Multi National’s at tax payers expense.
    Anyway I am getting Confused every working day of the year you have another 5 anti-landlord subjects.
    Accreditation for landlords becoming almost compulsory, Portsmouth bringing in New licensing Scheme if you are not Accredited your license will for one year only instead of five, so looks like you will have to make 5 Applications making lots more lolly for them, so you better get accredited and learn how to let property. Its amazing you have been running a Business for Decades now you must learn how you done it.

  • George Dawes

    Usually at the end of the tenancy when all the destruction is paid for from the inventory

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    Tenants will not pay anything from their bond for cleaning if they leave the property clean. So, what this survey shows is that renters with pets and children are less likely to clean after themselves than those without.
    Having just spent a week cleaning a flat back to how.it started 2 years ago, I have no doubt this is the case.
    And as for damage, one of our tenants whole deposit won't cover the pet damage. Once the courts get the house back for us of course!

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    Breaking News: Children & pets are expensive!

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    Of course they are!! More wear and tear on the property, more damage, more cleaning, more repairs, etc etc. On top of the obvious costs of pet ownership, vet bills, pet food.

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    If they can't afford children or pets why do they have them?


    I always think that having children before you have managed to buy a home condemns you to many years, if not a lifetime, of renting.


    Andrew - if you play with a benefits calculator you will see exactly why a great many children are conceived.
    I don't understand the attraction of pets for anyone on a low income though.


    Yes Jo more children = more benefit cash

  • Antony Whitbread

    That line "which could seem unfair" I tell you what is not fair. Having to clean dog sh*t out of carpets, having to pay for new carpets, damaged flooring from scratches, a smell that will not go away (even after a lifetime of cleaning) Then we are the ones deemed to be "penalising" tenants. Oh apologies if we want to try and avoid getting bent over backwards every 6 months. I understand that a large majority of pet owners are responsible and attempt to keep their place clean and hygienic, but it is a completely childish idea to assume that a landlord should not take necessary precautions for something that could very well likely happen to them.

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    I am confused, l think they must have polled their northern office, deposits much too low, answers seem group think
    Must be a government favourable survey.

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    I do not have children, but I do have pets. I am only too aware of how they can easily damage a property, especially when young and untrained. Yes, I am still talking about pets, but . . .

    Of course people with children and pets will pay more, because their children and pets are a greater risk. That said, I did have a tenant with a young son and a dog. She left the property spotless, so there are exceptions.


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