Should landlords rent to tenants with pets?

Should landlords rent to tenants with pets?
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For landlords across the country, one red flag that is often raised when it comes to tenants will be when the touchy subject of pets is raised. For years, landlords have rejected tenants with pets when they apply for property, and in the current market where demand is so high and owners can take their pick of prospective tenants, it has become even harder for those with pets to find somewhere that will allow themselves and their furry friend to stay. 

However, many people nationwide have and love their pets, so should this exclude them from renting? People who have a pet will often be among the more considerate and measured tenants around. They know their pet and the potential for damage, so the chances are they'll be going out of their way to ensure it does not become an issue. 

On top of this, pet owners will often be prepared to pay extra to have their pet live with them. Landlords who are prepared to let to dog and cat owners are not as easy to find as you might think, so these types of property can come at a premium. Entering this market as a buy-to-let owner will mean you allow yourself the potential to make a better yield on your property, which can only ever be considered a good thing. 

Lets with pets vs. other target groups

While a lot of owners will be worried about the prospect for pets damaging a property and its fixtures and fittings, the truth is that there are other target groups of tenants who can lead to more problematic issues. 

It's true that pets may from time to time chew or scratch at furnishings, but many landlords will find that when they let to families, kids cause far more damage than pets do. Whether it's drawing on walls or just spilling things on carpets, kids will be kids and damage is something that landlords need to accept with this demographic.

The same can be said for those looking to let to students. This has become a competitive marketplace in the past three years thanks to demand from tenants and the very high yields that can be achieved. But landlords looking to let to students rather than pet owners also face the potential for more damage. 

Students are often away from home for the first time, living in a large group and generally looking to enjoy themselves. Again, it often leads to a lack of maintenance and the potential for damages to be caused throughout the home. 

On top of this, you need to consider the fact that just because a tenant has a pet, it doesn't mean they are automatically not worth considering. If you are faced with someone who has a glittering set of references from past landlords, but they have a dog, and another tenant who has less of a history, it makes sense to rent to the person who has a track record of being favourable to landlords. 

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