Landlords who are prepared to let rental properties to tenants with pets should take a range of extra precautions, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has argued.
The organisation for independent inventory clerks said that as more people rent for longer periods of time, there are likely to be a greater number of renters who have pets.
The most recent English Housing Survey also found that 27% of tenants have been renting for 10 or more years.
Danny Zane, chair of the AIIC and managing director of My Property Inventories, said: “It’s clear that the number of long-term lifestyle renters is rising.
“And this means that more tenants will want to keep pets and therefore be on the lookout for a property which they can truly call home for a prolonged period.”
“It therefore comes as no surprise if more landlords decide to let to tenants with pets as it will widen their pool of prospective renters in an increasingly competitive market.”
A recent study by fasthomes.org revealed London’s most pet-friendly rental boroughs. Kensington and Chelsea came out on top with 153 available rental properties allowing pets.
Meanwhile, the City of London was the capital’s least pet-friendly borough, with the landlord of just one available listing allowing pets in their property.
The AIIC thought these landlords must take the necessary steps to protect their investments. These measures should include taking out a more comprehensive landlord insurance policy, increasing the property’s damage deposit and ensuring that an independent and professionally compiled inventory is carried out.
Zane added: “Our furry friends can undoubtedly cause more damage to a property, not to mention additional odours and mess.
“Therefore, more comprehensive landlord insurance can provide the required cover and peace of mind should an incident occur at the property, while a higher deposit will help to ensure that tenants are committed to maintaining the property.”
He added that landlords will need to be wary of charging higher deposits as from next spring, it is likely that damage deposits will be capped at a maximum of six weeks’ rent.
Zane said: “Crucially, landlords must also make sure that they enlist the services of a professional independent inventory clerk.
“Independent inventories, which detail a property’s condition at the start and end of a rental contract, provide landlords and agents with peace of mind and protect tenants from unreasonable deductions at the end of a tenancy.”
Over the last year, the AIIC has been campaigning for the government to consider compulsory independent inventory reporting in privately rented properties.