Existing tenant wants a dog

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    Existing tenant wants a dog

    A current tenant has asked if she can get a dog (I have a no-pets clause in the tenancy agreement). I'm not overjoyed at the prospect but she's an excellent, long-standing tenant who I want to retain, so I'm thinking seriously about allowing it.

    If I agree, what conditions/terms can I put on it to cover myself? I realise I can't increase the deposit now, so in terms of damage costs all I can do is reiterate that any damage (pet-related or otherwise) must be paid for when she eventually leaves regardless of whether it's covered by the deposit. I know that demanding 'professional cleaning' on departure is frowned upon nowadays but could I specify this as a condition of having a pet (especially bearing in mind you can a house with a even a perfectly well-behaved canine resident almost always has a distinct aroma!)

    I could also specify maximum size of dog I suppose. Any other thoughts from anyone please?

    #2
    Well, 10/10 to the tenant for being honest. Given that she's performant and long term I'd have no hesitation at all. By allowing a dog, you will have to accept a higher degree of FW&T. To mitigate this, I'd increase the rent but not straight away. Wait till the pandemic has passed also not to make it look "retaliatory".

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      #3
      If you're going to do it, put the rent up by a small amount, and think of that as payment for the eventual clean up required.

      I'm a dog owner myself and you'd be amazed how your standards slip.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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        #4
        Does your property have a lease ? If so look for any relevant covenants.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
          I know that demanding 'professional cleaning' on departure is frowned upon nowadays but could I specify this as a condition of having a pet
          Not frowned upon... It's illegal.

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            #6
            Not sure what you mean by long-standing but if you mean she’s been there at least a few years and is probably likely to stay a while longer then having new carpets fitted after she leaves is probably a small price to pay and something that you may have done even if she didn’t have a dog.

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              #7
              yeah defo sounds like you lucky to have a tenant like that, most just get the pet and then (depending on how often you visit) wait for you to find out. A good quality tenant is hard to find, what they could do is get the pet anyway and then what would you do.....

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                #8
                Yep keep hold of her. As said above if she has been there a while you would probably have to re decorate a bit to let it again. Letting her have a dog can also make her stay in your property for even longer as you have allowed it and lots of other properties dont!! LONG TERM TENANTS that pay is what we all want!!

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                  #9
                  Thanks for the replies'; I'm glad to see other landlords concur with my gut feeling.
                  Other than increasing the rent - which I don't really want to do at this point as I'm pleased she's kept paying full rent despite being furloughed - is there no other concrete action I can take to protect myself? Sounds like even a professional clean specifically for a doggy house is out of the question (I appreciate a rent increase would cover that though).

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                    #10
                    Worry about it when she leaves. Which may be never!!!!!

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                      #11
                      Agree with all the above...... keep a tight hold of this one, they are not as common as we all would like !!!!

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                        #12
                        Having a pet is something homeowners take for granted.
                        I'm a sentimental old fool, and I think a house is not a home without a cat, dog, rabbit or guinea pig.
                        I also think there are so few landlords that allow pets, that it might increase the demand for your property. I've always put in my adverts, that pets can be discussed, and within reason would never refuse one.
                        To be fair, in its last year of life, our last dog took to.pissing by the back door and after it died I had to replace the laminate, so i can understand the reluctance.

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                          #13
                          If it were a newly refurb'd place and this was a new tenant I may pick someone else rather than them,, given you know the tenant and have had no problems and the place might need a tidy up anyway and they are a known quantity I would just accept it

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                            #14
                            Hi, I'm coming at this from a slightly different perspective, but there are aspects that you may consider relevant to your situation. Though not a BTL LL, I have close involvement with FHL (Furnished Holiday Lets), and the issue of 'dogs or no dogs' definitely raises its head in FHL!.

                            As another post points out, not all places accept dogs at all, and this applies to FHL too, so accepting a dog is good for encouraging more lettings throughout the year. However, it is not without its downside.

                            Cleaning is very definitely the main consideration - I've cleaned a holiday let with my own fair hands (!) and believe me, you can tell when a dog's been there! One of the carpets could only be cleaned by being on hands and knees, with rubber gloves on, to 'gather up' the deposited hair. This applies to soft furnishings as well. At the FHL dogs are 'not allowed' upstairs, but, again as another post points out, dog owners do tend to be 'doting' (I'm VERY 'doting' with my cat, so I'm not criticising - it gets away without just about anything - as the torn and scratched corners of my bed testify!)(when cats want attention, they want it RIGHT NOW).

                            Obviously, in a permanent let, banning dogs 'upstairs' or 'in the bedroom' is going to be much harder, so assume the dog will, indeed, sleep on the bed.... (not sure if they scratch the mattress corners?!)

                            There will definitely be a doggy smell - and this can depend on the breed, but mostly on the owner, and how 'doting' it is! Animal owners get 'nose blind' very quickly (like smokers!) , and it can get into curtains as well as carpets, upholstery etc (Though I assume your tenant's furniture is their own??)

                            Also, like it or not, dogs can have 'accidents' - bodily functions (from both ends!) performed indoors. Hard wood floors can take a pasting too, with scratch marks from dogs simply walking (or running or sliding).

                            The above is general for 'all dogs'....BUT, I would say a great deal can depend on the breed. I would definitely ask your tenant what breed they are planning on getting....and what age (puppies are smaller, but there will be more 'accidents' etc etc).

                            Some breeds are known not just for size and boisterousness (plus older dogs tend to be smellier, alas....), but for 'shedding'. Some breeds are unlikely to shed much, or any hair (pugs and schnauzers, for example), and some shed shedloads! (labs). The more they shed the more the carpets will suffer etc.

                            I think you also have to look at the wider picture - are there other tenants in the property (eg, flats), and if so, how will they react to a dog? Dogs should NOT be left alone during the day, and will likely bark, unhappily, all day....nuisance for others and unhappiness for them (neighbours may summon the police/RSPCA) etc.

                            Also, horrible to think about, but bear in mind if the dog is uncontrolled, and attacks anyone????

                            If your property has a garden, then assume it will be used, in part at last, as a dog's toilet.....

                            Remember that having a dog-soiled garden can introduce dangerous bugs into the soil etc, which may be dangerous to future tenants, and also, that if the property has had a dog living in it, it will likely become 'unlettable' to someone with a dog allergy thereafter (even if well cleaned).

                            These are the negatives, but, on the other hand, as other posts are saying, if the tenant is good and reliable, then it could well be worth keeping them by letting them get a dog - but do check the breed and age, and what is to happen to the dog during the day, how it will be exercised and trained etc. (You can sound interested and enthusiastic rather than critical and carping!).

                            (If she gets only one dog, and then wants to leave him during the day, she may want to get a second dog for companionship)

                            Oh, if she tgets a dog, she'll probably become a 'doggy person' and you may end up with her new doggy chums turning up at the property with their dogs as well...

                            All in all dog owners usually tend to be nice people, and if she is already a 'good tenant' is unlikely to change just because she's got a dog. Obviously some dog owners are irresponsible and should no more be allowed to own a dog than a nuclear warhead, but hopefully she's not one of them.

                            I do think, though, your first question should be 'What kind of dog are you getting?'

                            Good luck!

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                              #15
                              As you have stated the tenant is reliable and you have built a good relationship over the years so why not? I order to keep her sweet, let her have a dog. When she leaves just redecorate the whole place.

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