DID YOU KNOW: ONLY SEVEN PERCENT OF LANDLORDS ALLOW PETS?
Many of the nation’s dog shelters are home to dogs who would otherwise have had a home, but for one reason or another their owners moved to rented accommodation where pets are not allowed.
Landlords can play an important part in the preservation of the bond between responsible pet owners and their animals by allowing pets.
Nearly one in two households in the UK have a pet, so it is not inconceivable that pet owners may have to rent property. Why would a landlord wish to excuse himself of this customer base?
Part of the reason lies with the misconception that keeping a pet equates to keeping a dirty house that will cost the landlord money to renovate when the tenant leaves.
It is quite easy for a landlord to operate a pets welcome policy, which should open up the amount of tenants who could offer an income as well as limiting the amount of dogs currently in shelters.
LIMIT THE NUMBER OF ANIMALS PER DWELLING
Any person, regardless of the size of his or her home can maintain only a few pets responsibly. Pets are often happier living in pairs so do not restrict to one pet per household. Establish reasonable limits based on the activity level of the pet and the care and exercise provided by the owner.
Require that pets should be under control at all times. Dogs should be on a leash and under human control while outdoors. If you are leasing a house with a fenced in yard require that the dogs should not be left alone in the yard when the resident isn’t at home and be sure to expressly prohibit chaining animals.
Require that cats and dogs wear identification collars. In the event of an escaped pet an identification collar will make it easier to return the animal to the owner.
DRAW UP A SET OF CORE RULES
Require that residents agree to follow a written set of rules related to the responsible ownership of a pet in their rented property. These should include the proper disposal of pets waste.
BE FLEXIBLE IN YOUR APPROACH
Evaluate prospective tenants and pets on an individual basis. Breed and size do not indicate a pet’s temperament or suitability as a pet in your property. So be sure to evaluate each animal on his or her own merits.
Request a fair refundable security deposit to cover any potential damage caused by pets. This deposit serves as a further incentive to keep animals responsibly, also require that prospective residents fill out a special pet application form. If you are to welcome pets into your property ask to see a photo, or better still, ask to see the pet.
For landlords it makes good business sense to have a policy of allowing responsible pet owners. You will attract more potential tenants as almost one in two renters have pets. A pet friendly policy will increase the marketability of your property.
You will also increase the average length of occupancy as once pet owners find a property that welcomes pets they are likely to rent for longer periods as constant moving can unsettle our pets. You are also advocating goodwill and championing the need for a healthier and happier lifestyle as research has shown time and time again that pets help us live happier and healthier lives.
Best of all, by allowing pets into your property you are opening your doors up to more potentially responsible residents. Because those who are responsible pet owners are more than likely to be model tenants in other ways as they know that pet friendly renting is scarce.
Guidelines for dog owners.
Clean up after your pet at all times and dispose of the wast in a sanitary manner.
Keep dogs on leads at all times when outside the home.
Ensure that pets are outfitted with visible identification at all times. A collar and tag with “Hi. My name is **** and I live at ************” should suffice.
Maintain an active flea-and-tick control program so that these pests won’t spread to neighbouring houses, common access areas or public parks.
Try not to leave a dog on its own, you may be out of earshot of its constant barking but you will be certain that Joe at Number 10 won’t be.