In our previous post we explored the reasons why landlords are resistant in taking on tenants with pets, and the changes on the horizon for pet policies in the UK. If you’re still feeling pretty daunted on the prospect of having to allow pets into your rental, read our clear guide on pet policy agreements below and take note of our tips to avoid accidents and damage from your tenants furry friends…
How to draft a Pet Policy Agreement
An official approach to form an understandable agreement between landlord and tenant would be to create a ‘pet policy agreement’. This is a written and signed document that sets the ground rules regarding pets in the property. It should include the right to arrive at the property for regular check ups and to inspect any damage, details on hygiene standards and what to do in the event of an accident caused by an animal.
It’s also a good idea to have your tenant sign an agreement to cover any cost incurred from damage caused by their pet by charging a subsidy on top of a month’s normal rent. Be sure to approach this in the right way, as you don’t want the extra charges to put tenants off. There’s a risky outcome of either losing a tenant or a property – so what can be done to help avoid both scenarios?
First Impressions Always Count
For a more personable approach, meeting the tenant and their pets is the best informal way to get a feel for their current living conditions and the pet’s characteristics. Here’s a handy guide to the first meeting:
- Ask the owner about their pet: by letting your potential tenants provide a ‘Pet CV’, you can get to know the pet and make a judgement on whether you think it’ll be a trouble-maker. Maybe request some veterinary records to find out whether the pet has been neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and to see when they were last treated for fleas.
- Meeting the pet: assess the pet’s persona, behaviour and interaction with new people. This will help you to determine the safety of your property and other tenants.
- Initiate the pet policy agreement: by setting the ground rules early, it will save time and mean your tenant and their pet will consider long term residency. Create a reasonable outline with terms of inspection and/or cost occurrences, and include the pet’s veterinary information as proof of record. The policy agreement can also state future plans of the tenant bringing in more pets, by suggesting a suitable capacity number of pets that are allowed to be kept in the property.
Happy tenants, happy landlords, and wagging tails
According to MentalHealth.org and Mind, keeping pets provides a healthier lifestyle and a better state of mental health – especially for lonely people – improves depression, anxiety, ADHD and autism. Best of all, happy tenants with pets brings great assurance for landlords that they will stay put in the rental property for the long run, reducing the chances of all those void periods between tenants. Happy pet, happy tenant, happy landlord – a win-win situation!