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Over half of landlords expect negative impacts from tenants being allowed to keep pets under the Renters’ Reform Bill proposals. This makes pets a higher concern than even Section 21.

According to a recent Leaders Romans Group (LRG) survey, a staggering 56% of landlords predict negative impacts from pet ownership following the changes announced in the Renters’ Reform Bill. What’s more, concerns over Section 21 fall just behind at 54%.

In contrast, 54% of tenants said changes regarding pets would have a positive impact. According to Statista, 57% of UK households had a pet in 2023. Of course, the proposed changes in the Renters’ Reform will make it easier for those with pets to find a suitable home.

The changes outlined in the Bill will prevent landlords from implementing a blanket ban on pets in their properties. Furthermore, landlords won’t be able to “unreasonably” refuse tenants’ requests to keep pets, although it’s still unclear what will be deemed a reasonable refusal.  

However, the sheer number of landlords who have had damage caused to their properties by tenants' pets sheds light on why this is the top concern. Propertymark found that 85.3% of landlords and letting agents have incurred damage to their property by pets in 2022. Unsurprisingly, many landlords are concerned about the potential damage and costs of this change.

 

What would incentivise you to allow your tenants to keep pets?

This time last year, we set out to understand what would incentivise our landlord clients and newsletter subscribers to allow your tenants to keep pets.

The results were varied. Most of our readers (50%) noted that a larger deposit from tenants would act as an incentive, as this could help to cover the costs of any damage caused. A further 17% voted for the ability to charge higher rents.

Some landlords noted alternative solutions, like asking for confirmation that a pet wouldn’t be left alone for the full working day, whilst another highlighted that allowing one pet sets a precedent, and you may end up with multiple pets in your property.

On the other hand, 60% of our social media followers voted that insurance to cover potential damage was the best incentive, with just 20% voting for larger deposits and higher rents.

 

Tackling the pet issue

A year on, we’re still in the dark about what these changes will mean for the PRS. The minimal guidelines to work from state that landlords must give or refuse consent in writing within 42 days of a tenant's request for a pet.

Furthermore, landlords will be able to require tenants to have insurance to cover the risk of pet damage as a condition of giving consent. Or, you can require the tenant to pay the (reasonable) costs of maintaining pet damage.

There’s no set date for when this change will come into force. The Bill is still in its parliamentary stages, so we hope to see further guidance well in advance of the government pushing the Bill through.

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If you would like to discuss how upcoming legislation will impact your property plans or any property finance enquiries you might have, get in touch with our team of experts on 0345 345 6788, or submit an enquiry here

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