I have been inundated with pictures of budgies, cats, dogs and goldfish. The Dogs Trust have launched their campaign, Lets with Pets.
Anyway, a glossy brochure arrived through the letterbox and I have had a few emails from various sources encouraging me to be aware of renting to pet owners. The glossy guide for landlords and letting agents goes on to suggest that Landlords are missing a trick by excluding pet owners.
Elsewhere, emails have stated to me that 75% of landlords don’t allow pets and this pet discrimination is really unnecessary as pet owners do not equal bad tenants. Fair point, I know of plenty of bad tenants who didn’t lick their bottoms clean, smell of old carpet and provide safe havens for the travelling flea circus. Indeed, I suspect some of them did.
It is just this sort of prejudice that the Lets with Pets manifesto sets out to negate and good luck to them. As a landlord, I have enough trouble deciding whether the latest chavs will destroy my flat and would I really leave it to the agent to judge the ability of a pet, I don’t think so. There is even a suggestion that one should ask for a pet reference with such questions as ‘...did their pets cause any damage to [a previous] property...’. I wonder how many people will admit that their little pooch destroyed the floors, paintwork, furniture and carpets (wear and tear I guess).
I am sure I will have the Pet Police down on me and some pet loving readers may take offence, but I have never really understood why we have pets in the first place. To me it has always seemed a little sad to drag around an animal on a lead or cage it or put it on a mantle piece to watch it swim in a circle, purely for ‘our’ enjoyment!
Now whilst I am playing a little, there is a serious point. Within the UK there are apparently 8 million dogs and 8 million cats and with the rental market become ever more popular, Landlords may just need an edge so perhaps allowing Shep to reside within your property could be just such an edge.
I like the advice of Nick from Steadfast Property Management Ltd when he says ‘...It is important to meet the pet in question prior to granting a tenancy...’ Wise words indeed and if the maxim that pet owners resemble their pets has any merit then think carefully about tenants with snakes!
Anyway, I am off to see if I can rent a two bed flat for me and my pet chickens.