>> Jun 26, 2013
Most pet owners will agree that their dog or cat is part of the family and as such will take into account their needs when making decisions that affect the family; one good example of this is moving house. Finding a new home is an important step at the best of the times, but when you also have pets to consider, this becomes even more so, and particularly if you are looking for a rental property. No longer is size, location and facilities all that you need to think about, but whether your landlord will welcome your family as tenants with the knowledge you will be bringing a pet with you. While some landlords have a blanket “no pets” policy, concerned about the potential damage that animals will leave in their wake, others renting out properties are more understanding and recognise that by accepting families who own pets they too can benefit.
Responsible and long-term tenants
There are two very good reasons for landlords to encourage families who are animal lovers: they are more likely to secure responsible tenants who wish to rent for a longer period of time, helping to reduce landlord costs in the long-term. Having children is a big commitment in itself, but taking good care of pets further adds to the likelihood of ensuring tenants are caring and reliable. A pet, especially a dog, is a large responsibility and families who take this seriously are more likely to be trustworthy tenants who will respect and take care of someone else’s property. A landlord can easily gauge whether this is the case when they meet a family with their pet; a dog that is well behaved, has a tidy appearance and seems to be in good health is a good indication that the duties of pet ownership are being met by the family. If they still have doubts a reference from their current landlord or vet can help to clear up this matter. Then as long as a landlord keeps to their side of the bargain when it comes to providing an appropriate environment for pets, the family will be more inclined to become long standing tenants owing to the shortage of pet friendly landlords and properties; it’s a win-win situation.
Keeping your landlord sweet
While it goes without saying that you should always seek permission to keep an animal when living in a rented home, a landlord will expect families to continue to take their responsibilities seriously whilst living within their property. Within the tenancy agreement you will likely find that the rules and regulations you are expected to abide by whilst keeping a pet are laid out along with details of the deposit and cleaning charges you will need to pay. However, there are some common sense steps you can take yourself to keep in your landlord’s good books. Destructive behaviour and stains associated with spray and heat cycles can be solved by asking a vet to neuter your dog or cat. Maintaining your animal’s health through regular shots and health checks will also be expected, as will effectively managing – and ideally preventing – problems with infestations of fleas and worms. It will also be a given that you will clean up after your pets and ensure that they are exercised regularly so that dogs and cats remain calm when left home alone. However, as your family has probably got all of these boxes checked already, it’s easy to keep up with these good habits.
Ensure your landlord accommodates pets
It isn’t just pet-owning families who have a responsibility to take when living in rented accommodation; landlords must also meet their obligations. If welcoming pets it would be expected that outdoor spaces are well enclosed, so that fences and walls are in good repair and that gates can be secured. You would also hope that your landlord would have chosen easy to clean soft furnishings and perhaps have provided covers for chairs, as there’s no guarantee that even the best behaved pets won’t find their way onto them. Finally, while you might be happy to vacuum frequently to remove pet hair and the extra dust and dirt dropped by their coat, it’s only fair that you should be provided with a machine designed to tackle the extra demands of having a pet in the property.