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Pets In Lets - agents issue new guidance to private tenants

Propertymark has issued a guide to tenants about their rights to have a pet. 

A statement from trade body Propertymark says that since the Covid-19 pandemic especially, pet ownership and in turn renting with pets has seen an upshift. 

However, in England, landlords continue to reserve the right to prevent pets from their properties, but in the guide to tenants is insists that doesn’t mean you cannot rent with a pet altogether. 


“Remember, the reason landlords aren’t keen on having pets in their property is because of the associated risks” the guide tells tenants.

It says bad ownership has made landlords dubious about renting to people with pets, as in the hands of the wrong owner, pets can lead to dirty conditions, lingering smells, pest infestations and neighbour complaints. Therefore, a renter's mission is to outline how they will prevent the risks by convincing the landlord that they are a responsible pet owner.

A survey of English landlords and letting agents was conducted by industry trade bodies Propertymark and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA)  amongst others.

The research showed that pet damage is extremely common in properties where landlords rent to tenants with pets and the costs are difficult to recoup with 85 per cent of landlords and agents having incurred damage to their properties by pets and 57 per cent unable to recoup the costs.

Propertymark insists that a renter can help their case to keep a pet in privately rented accommodation by keeping a CV and references - it says: “Your pet’s age, breed, behaviour, training, vaccinations, flea treatments and a reference from your vet and/or previous landlord will help paint a picture of what your pet will be like in the property. Although this is more common for cats and dogs, other animals will benefit from a good reference which reassures the landlord too.”

It also adds that it’s good practice is to provide your vet's contact details and someone who can care for your pet in an emergency. You should also define as best you can when you're likely to be away from the pet during the day or night.

If you can, try to introduce your pet to the landlord so they can see how they behave firsthand. The more information your landlord has, the more likely they'll accept your tenancy with a pet.

And in a section for tenants called ‘Know Your Rights’ the agents’ trade body says:

England - “Landlords in England cannot request a higher tenancy deposit for renting with a pet. Deposits are capped in England since the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act in 2019, instead, landlords can charge you extra rent for having a pet.

“Whilst landlords can request a higher rent payment for pets, they cannot insist on a professional cleaning or de-flea treatment service at the end of your tenancy. 

“Professional cleaning services are a prohibited payment under the legislation; however, you must return the property in the same condition as it was at the start of the tenancy.” 

Wales - “On top of your tenancy deposit, landlords can request an additional pet deposit to cover themselves against any potential damage caused by the pet at the end of the tenancy. Like your tenancy deposit, it should be returned to you at the end of your tenancy if no damage has occurred and should also be protected in a tenancy deposit scheme.”

Northern Ireland - “The Private Tenancies Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 introduced changes to deposits which change what landlords can ask from tenants. From 1 April 2023 all deposits for new tenancies will be limited to one month’s rent. This means that a landlord cannot ask for or accept any deposit amount over one month’s rent, even if this was separate from the main rental deposit before the Private Tenancies Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 was passed. This includes deposits for pets.”

Scotland - “Some tenancy agreements will prevent you from renting with a pet, but you may be able to gain permission if you agree to an additional deposit. Any deposit in Scotland is capped at a maximum of two months’ rent, this includes any additional deposits.”

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  • George Dawes

    Nothing more pleasant than a dog barking day and night while the selfish tenant is out is there ?

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    I have been very fortunate with the cats and dogs that I have permitted.😇 Perhaps, as a pet owner, I have asked the right questions? 🤔 All academic since the only properties left do not permit pets in the Head Lease.🤔

  • David Lester

    Most cannot control their kids, so pets have no chance, it is not the pet it is the owner!


    So let me get this rght home owners dogs are perfect and renters arnt ?

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    The above guidance is fine for existing pets but completely irrelevant for the animals tenants acquire after they move in.
    I'm not keen on pets in rental properties but have currently got them in 3 properties. One set of guinea pigs I knew about before the tenants moved in. Another set of guinea pigs I was told about after they were bought and a puppy. I'm really angry about the puppy as the tenant had dogs previously and was awful at keeping the garden clean. When the last of the previous dogs died she had categorically said she wouldn't have any more dogs and then suddenly a puppy appeared. It's totally disrespectful to me and not ideal for the animal. As a pet owner she's fairly useless. Not deliberately cruel but certainly neglectful. It was incredibly tempting to issue a Section 21 and it was only consideration for her children that has made me hold back on that one.


    Jo, your consideration should be for your property. The children are her responsibility, not yours.

    Are your tenant’s initials KP by any chance?


    AL - it's not quite that clearcut. It's a very stable tenancy and apart from the dog it's a low hassle tenancy.
    She's lived in the house since 2009 and is likely to stay there at least until the 7 year old leaves education. Having changed schools several times herself as a child she's very keen for her own children not to have the same disruption.

    The alternative is a void while I redecorate, re carpet, etc and then new unknown tenants who may be a complete pain. New tenants would pay more but the void and decorating would wipe out at least a year's worth of the extra rent.

  • George Dawes

    In my experience cats are as bad if not worse than dogs as they love scratching things non stop , especially doors etc

  • Matthew Payne

    I cant believe PropertyMark has reached to the pet reference playbook, its embarrassing. Introduce your pet to meet your landlord?? You have to be kidding me. What so the dog can convince them they have absolutely no attributes of a dog, dont have claws, dont shed hair, dont smell, dont get fleas?


    Dog haters are awful people

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    We took possession of one of our houses yesterday. Dog damage from chewing door posts, kitchen and hall flooring torn up including the hardboard underneath, pee stains on the floorboards, carpets torn up, the place reeked to high heaven. This is on top of the dirt, rubbish bags and the garden being totally overgrown. We had to take 5 large tanks containing lizards and a snake to a specialist place in Bristol to care for them. When added to the cost of the skip we paid for last year to clear the garage and garden, the deposit might go half way to covering the clean up if I don't get professionals in. But we have no chance of seeing the nearly a year's rent he owes despite having a court order because we found paperwork to show he owes money all over the place. The bailiff who did the eviction said he had been there after money for someone else last November.
    Obviously there is a lot there to unpick but the point in this case is the animal damage (all without permission) which is no where near covered by the deposit, and the reason that house will never go back on the rental market.


    Thank goodness you got your house back Emily!

    That was a terrible way to get it back though. I hope you restore everything to a decent state soon.

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    We the L lords- really have no say in pets or anything else much. And it’s only going to get worse. You don’t stand much chance of getting anything from a outgoing tenant to compensate landlords for the pets damage., it’ll cost more going to court to get the money and the time- months and months - than to get prob not a lot. So u have to do it oneself. No wonder rents are going UP!!


    Yes, the only real power we have is to put rents up as high as we can to hope to cover any of these possible extra future expenses.

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    The main problem that I've had are pets introduced after the tenant has moved in without permission


    How dare renters treat the place as their own


    @David Edmunds - interesting you say that - - The answer - because it ISNT their own? Your question clearly shows your entitled attitude to rentals -Private Landlords are not social housing -and are not social services. Renting is a legal contract agreed between 2 parties in what should be a free market. I have dogs one of which ate a good chunk of wall when it was a puppy but being my house It was my problem and expense to repair. A tenant is renting under a set of defined terms and conditions ie a contract. Why should a renter have a right to break that contract and destroy someone else's property with no consequences or expense to them? If they want a pet then buy a house and pay for repairs themselves. A tenant should not have the right to break a legally binding contract and then just walk away leaving the Landlord aka property owner with the cost and problem of putting right the damage caused by a pet. Tenants used to stand a better chance of getting a pet friendly Rental until Govt made it illegal to ask for a pet deposit against damage which tenant got back at end of tenancy if there was no damage. Landlord haters like yourself refuse to recognise that ultimately a property belongs to a Landlord and it is his/her choice as to whether they accept pets or not but I guess your hatred of Landlords is so vitriolic you will refuse to accept my points.

  • jeremy clarke

    Property Mark spouting the usual pro tenant rubbish rather than supporting agents! Every house that we take back that has housed pets has issues which cost a fortune to rectify.

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    There is only one answer to this and that’s to declare that carpets & laminate will be taken up before the tenancy starts because we have to replace these to get rid of the smell when a tenant leaves. Or maybe the tenant can buy these at the beginning of the tenancy. If a tenant wants long term renting with the beloved pet then go to the council or maybe they should buy a house


    Exactly, I'm starting charging for the air they breath

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    I always have carpets professionally cleaned at start and end of tenancy. Stupid government don't realise some people have allergies against pet hair especially cats. I do not allow pets in my property. I think more and more landlords are now being so careful scrutinising their future tenants and lets face it if you have the choice of two tenants one with pets and other without who would you be going for?

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    David. How dare you Rent my Residential Property to accommodate dogs.


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