Tenant wants to get a pet

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    Tenant wants to get a pet

    Hi folks,

    Just after a bit of advice regarding pets in a property. My tenant has been in place for about 5-6 months. The tenancy agreement signed by them stated no pets but they have come to me asking would it be OK if they got a "teacup" dog. My first initial reaction was to say no but I'm trying to balance that with keeping them happy as they have been good tenants to date. However I still need to protect my interests first and foremost ensuring that I'm not out of pocket at the end of the lease for cleaning, repairs etc.

    I myself have been considering a number of options which might include some or all of the items below:
    • updating the current tenancy with additional clauses to make it clear in no uncertain terms that any damage or cleaning that needs to be carried out is liable to the tenant - however how enforceable is this come the end of the tenancy and they refuse to pay or clear off, I'm out the costs
    • getting extra money put down for security in addition to their deposit - again this might not cover costs that could potentially arise
    • performing a property inspection before the dog arrives to photograph everything before the pet arrived so at least I have evidence of before and after if required
    • nullifying the current tenancy and getting them to sign a new tenancy agreement with suitable clauses as above which would tie them into the property for another year.


    Would appreciate anyone's thoughts or advice on this especially if I have overlooked something.

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    Originally posted by mmaguire View Post
    updating the current tenancy with additional clauses to make it clear in no uncertain terms that any damage or cleaning that needs to be carried out is liable to the tenant
    Hopefully your tenancy agreement already states that, doesn't it? - makes no difference whether the damage is done by a dog or not

    getting extra money put down for security in addition to their deposit
    Could be worth doing - make sure you protect the extra deposit. You might want to stipulate that the house is professionally de-fleaed at the end of the tenancy, regardless of whether the tenant believes the dog actually has fleas or not (the life cycle is such that eggs can hatch out weeks/months after the dog has left, and in the absence of a dog, the fleas then go for a human instead

    performing a property inspection before the dog arrives to photograph everything before the pet arrived so at least I have evidence of before and after if required
    This goes with the first point - providing you did a proper inventory at the start of the tenancy, that's what you refer to at the end, not some inventory carried out at a random mid-point in the tenancy. Might be worth doing an inspection though if you haven't done one yet, to see how well they are looking after the place, before you make the decision on the dog.

    nullifying the current tenancy and getting them to sign a new tenancy agreement with suitable clauses as above which would tie them into the property for another year.
    Could do - up to you. Though what happens if the dog turns out to be a disaster and you want them out, just after you've tied them in for another year?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
      Hopefully your tenancy agreement already states that, doesn't it? - makes no difference whether the damage is done by a dog or not
      Yes my current tenancy agreement already states this but I meant adding additional clauses to try and protect myself further to this with a focus on damage caused by pets so its clear in no uncertain terms they are responsible.

      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
      Could be worth doing - make sure you protect the extra deposit. You might want to stipulate that the house is professionally de-fleaed at the end of the tenancy, regardless of whether the tenant believes the dog actually has fleas or not (the life cycle is such that eggs can hatch out weeks/months after the dog has left, and in the absence of a dog, the fleas then go for a human instead
      Good point

      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
      This goes with the first point - providing you did a proper inventory at the start of the tenancy, that's what you refer to at the end, not some inventory carried out at a random mid-point in the tenancy. Might be worth doing an inspection though if you haven't done one yet, to see how well they are looking after the place, before you make the decision on the dog.
      I haven't carried out an inspection yet but I was planning on carrying out one anyway so this could tie in.


      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
      Could do - up to you. Though what happens if the dog turns out to be a disaster and you want them out, just after you've tied them in for another year?
      I suppose that's another way of looking at it.


      Thanks for your thoughts, gives me something to think about.

      Comment


        #4
        It doesn't matter whether contract states that tenant is liable for damage caused by pet: he is.
        I don't see there would be a need to have agree to a new fixed term.
        You can negotiate with tenant to have a schedule of condition drawn, indeed. You've probably lost the possibility to claim for damages they caused up to now, though.

        Extra deposit can be useful. As would be to negotiate that the must have the property professionally cleaned, and carpet steam cleaned when they leave.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
          You might want to stipulate that the house is professionally de-fleaed at the end of the tenancy, regardless of whether the tenant believes the dog actually has fleas or not (the life cycle is such that eggs can hatch out weeks/months after the dog has left, and in the absence of a dog, the fleas then go for a human instead.
          You won't be able to enforce this. All you can stipulate is that anti flea treatment is carried out, not by whom!
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
            You won't be able to enforce this. All you can stipulate is that anti flea treatment is carried out, not by whom!
            This is different to a requirement for 'professional cleaning' though. If you don't stipulate 'professional de-fleaing' how do you respond when the tenant says at checkout that he bought some chemicals and did it himself?

            (a) he may be lying, and you'll never know until the flea eggs hatch weeks later;

            (b) insectides available to the public are far punier than stuff the trade use, and arguably are ineffective

            (c) even if the tenant has bought chemicals and applied them, how do you know he's done it effectively? ie, sprayed everywhere in the house that eggs might survive, and I mean 'everywhere'? A tradesman will know this stuff.

            (d) I'm sure there's a (d)...

            Comment


              #7
              The Dogs Trust have some invaluable advice and guidance for Landlords who are considering letting their property to tenants with pets.

              http://www.letswithpets.org.uk/

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks Kaspa, some useful information on that site. And thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You can get good flea killing spray from the vet, or the council can do it for £. One of my T had a cat and it left fleas behind which then bit the children of the next T. Not very nice. I had to pay for flea destruction.

                  I have agreed for another T to keep a dog, against my better judgment. The dog is kept in the conservatory and its poops and pees have ruined the laminate flooring. Sometimes it is kept in the yard where it treads in its poops and then brings it into the house.

                  I'll never agree to pets again.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                    I'll never agree to pets again.
                    Remember not to say that in your tenancy agreement.
                    My agreements state that pets will be considered. I consider, and then say "No".
                    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                      This is different to a requirement for 'professional cleaning' though. If you don't stipulate 'professional de-fleaing' how do you respond when the tenant says at checkout that he bought some chemicals and did it himself?
                      Can't stop the tenant doing this and who's to say it won't work. Equally a recognised deinfestation company might not eradicate the problem entirely.
                      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If your tenant looks after the house well the chances are they will also look after the pet properly. I add £150 to the deposit. I have 2 Ts with dogs & so far no noticeable damage.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by royw View Post
                          If your tenant looks after the house well the chances are they will also look after the pet properly.
                          Hmm. As a landlord, believe me, I look after my own home well; however that didn't prevent our cat from peeing on our new £1500 sofa recently, on the day the sofa arrived...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Ah, bless, bet moggy felt at home on't Sofa after that...
                            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                              Ah, bless, bet moggy felt at home on't Sofa after that...
                              I can assure you that bloody animal hasn't been allowed in the room since...

                              Comment

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