Top tips for renting with pets

Landlords reserve the right to prevent pets from their properties, but that doesn’t mean you cannot rent with a pet. Remember, the reason landlords aren’t keen on having pets in their property is because of the associated risks. 

In the hands of the wrong owner, pets can lead to dirty conditions, lingering smells, pest infestations and neighbour complaints. It's therefore your job to outline how you will prevent those risks by convincing your landlord that you are a responsible pet owner.

Pet CV and references

A CV and references for your pet will help your case. Your pets 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'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'll 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 first hand. The more information your landlord has, the more likely they'll accept your tenancy with a pet.

Rules for renting with a pet

Pet deposits in 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.

Pet rent in 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. 

Pet rent in 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. 

Pet rent in 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.  

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Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) explained

The Government introduced measures to make sure tenancy deposits are protected whilst they are with the landlord or letting agent. This guide covers everything you need to know.

Allotment Act: rabbits and hens

Under section 12 of the Allotments Act 1950, tenants can keep rabbits or hens provided they are not a nuisance or cause any health issues. You are not allowed to keep them for business purposes, such as breeding or selling eggs and we would recommend that you bring this to your landlord's attention first.

Follow the rules for pets

If you move into a property that doesn’t permit pets, never get a pet without your landlord’s permission. There will most certainly be a clause in your tenancy agreement that says you cannot keep pets, breaking this clause can be used as a ground for eviction.

If you have a pet, your landlord may also add additional clauses to your tenancy agreement relating to the pet. Examples might include what to do aroun fouling in the garden or inside the property or not leaving it alone in the property for too long.

Any damage to the property, or extra cleaning that the landlord can prove needs carrying out, can be deducted from your tenancy deposit so be sure to follow the terms of your agreement. 

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If you’re looking to rent, our members can help you find a pet-friendly property in your area. Our members have voluntarily chosen to become regulated by Propertymark to showcase their commitment to higher standards. Use our search to find a Propertymark Protected letting agent in your area.