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Pets In Lets - can inventories reduce the risk to landlords?

The increasing likelihood that the private rental sector will be obliged to allow more pets into lets simply demonstrates the need for more professional inventories, it’s been claimed. 

The Renters Reform Bill - likely to get its second reading when Parliament returns after the summer in early September and set to become law next year - will make it easier for tenants to keep pets in rented properties. 

Landlords will be obliged to consider all requests from tenants who wish to keep a pet and will be required to allow or deny permission within 42 days in writing. If a landlord refuses a pet request and tenants decide to challenge the decision, the matter could be referred to the courts or a newly-created Ombudsman.


Daniel Evans, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, says: “A detailed inventory showing the condition of a property at the start of the tenancy agreement is the only way a landlord can be sure of the extent of any damage which may have been done by a pet.

“If more tenants are going to be allowed to keep pets, the danger of additional property damage only increases. Of course, most pet owners are responsible people but with the best will in the world, there is always a risk of damage when animals are left in properties.

“Any dispute may well centre around what constitutes fair wear and tear. The only way to resolve that is to have accurate documentation and photographic representation of the state of the property when the tenant moved in.”

Included among the provisions of the new reforms is a clause allowing landlords to request that the tenant buys insurance to cover their pets for property damage or organise their own insurance which would be paid for by the tenants. In years gone by, landlords could have charged a higher deposit for pet-owning tenants but deposits have been capped at five weeks’ rent since 2019.

Evans continues: “Insurance cover will be helpful. But sometimes pet damage is not discovered immediately – it may be weeks before it comes to light. Or maybe the tenant hasn’t kept up with the insurance premiums? In those circumstances the landlord will be looking to the tenant’s deposit to make good the damage. 

“If that happens, the inventory will provide the necessary evidence to prove or disprove the case.The same may be true of the quality of décor or cleanliness throughout the property itself, or in the surrounding gardens or outbuildings, if they form part of the let.

“In some cases, the best way to deal with this may be through more regular property inspections. Who better to conduct those than the professional clerk who drew up the check-in inventory?”

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    Pet insurance that covers the general wear & tear of having a pet - scratched floors, doors, walls carpets; pee stained carpets, underlay; chewed wood frames; fleas; shredded curtains etc - will either be ineffective or incredibly expensive. Pet owners in their own homes can weigh up the risks & make a decision accordingly. Tenants bear less risk as this will just fall on the LLs shoulders. It is impossible to correct some of the damage inflicted on a property by pets without major works & insurance just won't cover this.

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    More and more tenants want pets in properties
    But on check out the properties are a mess, dirty. Radiators thick of pet hair, house smells so bad and all the carpets are to be replaced
    Doors scratched - Window ledges scratches, banister rails chewed .
    Tenants do not protect landords homes -
    Tenants Don’t clean
    Damages are 20% higher than the bond.

    Why do this government think they have the right to tell you who you let too.
    Landlord rather sell up -
    I guess that’s the plan for the Tory’s to get shut of private landlords -
    Good luck with housing the 50.000 people that are just landed in the county this year .

    It’s got worse the last 12 months were 99% of check outs are not great, taking monies from bonds is now the norm.

    In 2019 3% of check outs were not good
    That’s how much it’s changed since Covid
    Pitiful and the younger the tenant the worse it gets


    You are spot on. I have just taken a house back from a young couple - no pets thankfully - filthy! 4yrs of not cleaning properly! Add a couple of big dogs in there too & I hate to think of the damage.

    If I am forced to take pets I will always raise rents to the max!

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    Strictly No Pets in my properties. Tenants are informed and have to sign in contracts agreeing No pets, or eviction notice will be given.
    All Pets/their hair/smells etc can trigger life threatening allergies hence it’s a definitely No on medical grounds.
    Fish in a clean aquarium is the only pet, which doesn’t trigger allergic reactions for me, hence that’s allowed, absolutely no dogs/cats/hamsters/snakes/turtles/similar in my properties.
    I don’t even visit my family and friends homes who have pesky pets.
    Human’s safety is above pets/animals.
    I provide a home for Humans, not animals. End of.

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    However good the inventory, it will not stretch the deposit to cover repairs that can be needed. It will barely cover replacing flea infested and pee soaked carpet. How to we evidence the smell when it comes to claiming.
    I have yet to see any indication of a single insurance company offering an effective insurance policy.
    Without exception so far, any tenant who has been given consent for a dog have caused extra costs. Those going ahead without consent are much worse. We now have a room full of reptiles (as well as a 7 month old doberman), a house that smells like an animal house at the zoo, and more damage identified than the deposit will go anywhere near covering. And, according to our insurance company, that is not enough to be sure of winning a section 8 so we have had to wait for a section 21 to expire.
    So, in short, no an inventory has not helped at all. If compulsory consent for pets comes in the rest of our portfolio will join this one on the market as I can't take this again!


    Totally agree with what you are saying there but... I have a policy of no guarantor no tenancy. And that applies to all my tenants (at one time I would have said all tenants, working or not, (but i don't take dss anymore) even though I have to waste both their time and mine because I cant say no dss in the ad of course.

    The guarantor agreement indemnifies the inventoried condition as well as rent arrears.



    If you specify NO Smokers that tends to eliminate the majority of DSS claimants and you can employ the sniff test before even showing them around.

    Most smokers don't even realise that they stink!


    Agreed Robert it's not hard ti identfly a smoker and most of the low life do smoke

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    If the inventory accurately describes the pets as " dead, stuffed " that will reduce the risk but I personally would extend my ban to include no pets at all, dead or alive, in or outside the property - as I also don't want a pet cemetery established in gardens.


    I had a tenant who introduced a cat without obtaining my consent, said cat died at some point so they buried it in a shallow grave in the garden.
    Having reclaimed my property (after the usual local authority driven ‘fight through the courts’) I had the gruesome task of digging the rancid remains already partly exhumed by various other animals, probably urban foxes who sh** all over the area too.
    I am now wading my way through a full refurb of the absolutely filthy and broken property.
    Insurance covering this sort of thing, is a bad joke, it’s a risk based industry and will have so many ‘get out’ clauses I doubt any tenant will be in full compliance with the likely impossible policy terms.
    Never again!

  • jeremy clarke

    We use very detailed ingoing inventories and outgoing reports, accurate as they, are no report will be able to record the smell left behind by dogs and cats and rabbits, nor can it record future issues such as fleas and ticks as the eggs can take months to hatch.
    Only today I have a landlord who is just about to spend over £3,000 putting new carpets and underlay into a house saying definitely no pets! The only way that he could ever be persuaded would be if the tenant was able to lodge a deposit equal to outlay that could be retained for 6+months after the tenants vacate and that ain't gonna happen!
    Goodness knows what will happen when the real commies take over Westminster next year as no amount of fiddling around will rescue the current incumbents and it will be many years before we have a real Conservative Party again!

  • David Lester

    So the Inventory highlights damage, and the Tenant is insured, who pays for the Landlord to get quotes and deal with Insurance Company (who they didn't chose). The insurance company will then deduct at least 30% of the quote, who pays for the difference??
    Tenants can have pets provided that I am 100% compensated for the damage, this includes my time and any shortfalls in the insurance settlement!
    Answer that one Grove!!

  • Matthew Payne


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    Not until pets can read the inventory comprehend the info and abide by it.
    The tenant pet owners can’t so no chance.


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