Should I Let Tenants Keep A Pet?

Should I Let Tenants Keep a Pet?

Data circulating the property industry provides a clear message – landlords don't like tenants keeping a pet.

Data from states that only 7% of UK rentals advertise themselves as pet-friendly, so potentially, there are a lot of missed opportunities from landlords sticking with the 'no pets allowed' policy.

In this article, we'll explore what the UK law is on tenants keeping a pet, what the benefits of being pet-friendly are for landlords and share our advice on how to safely allow your tenants to keep a pet.

Things to Consider About Letting Prospective Tenants with Pets into Your Rental Property in Crystal Palace

What is the Law on Letting with Pets?

Ultimately, it's the landlord's decision as to whether a tenant can keep a pet in their property.

However, the UK government encourages more landlords to allow pet-friendly renting through the Model Tenancy Agreement. This is the government's recommendation for what a good shorthold tenancy agreement should look like.

This contains two crucial elements about pets in rentals, including:

Landlords shouldn't have a blanket 'no pets allowed' policy and;

Landlords should consider any request from a tenant to keep a pet seriously and only decline for good reason

Should I Let Tenants Keep a Pet?

While there can be risks associated with a tenant having domestic pets (like them damaging the property or causing a nuisance to neighbours), there are benefits, too.

Private landlords that accept pets and advertise their property as pet-friendly can:

Attract better tenants in the future

Sign longer leases (which can mean less chance of voids)

Stand out from the crowd

Keep existing tenants happy

How to Safely Let Your Property as Pet-Friendly

If you have decided that allowing pets is the right way to go, it's time to lay down some ground rules and establish whether potential tenants are responsible pet owners or not.

Ask for Records

Depending on the animal, you may want to check that it's up to date on its vaccinations. A pet owner who stays on top of vaccinations is a good sign that they are a responsible owner. Plus, it can reassure you that the animal is healthy and protected from diseases.

Check training and behaviour

If your tenant is requesting to keep a hamster, cat, or reptile, checking training records isn't necessary. But if your tenant wants to keep a dog on your property, make sure you ask about its training to see if they maintain responsible pet ownership.

Ask questions like:

Is the dog house-trained?

How much training have they had?

Is the dog likely to be left alone for long periods?

Arrange a meet and greet

If you're concerned about how well-behaved your tenants' pet is, arrange a meet and greet to see what the pet is like in person. Or ask for a video call with the pet!

There are plenty of lovely spots in Crystal Palace that are dog friendly and would help you see if they are a responsible pet owner.

This is a great opportunity to see just how well-trained the animal is and assess how comfortable you are letting the animal stay in your property.

Set boundaries

Before agreeing, consider setting boundaries around the tenant keeping a pet. For example, confirm if you are allowing pet owners to have one pet only, and that any new pets require prior approval.

Agree on terms

Whatever you decide when it comes to agreeing to let your tenants keep a pet in your rented property, make sure it's documented in the terms of your lease.

Include information about any boundaries you set, what responsibilities the tenant has when it comes to cleaning up after the pet in your Crystal Palace rental property, and any tenant fees may occur if those standards are not upheld or there is pet damage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Pet-Friendly Landlord

Can I charge additional rent or fees for tenants with pets?

Landlords are not allowed to charge a fee to a tenant who wishes to keep pets or other animals in the rental property. However, permission may be given on the condition that the tenant pays an additional reasonable amount towards the deposit, as long as the deposit does not breach the deposit cap requirements under the Tenant Fees Act 2019.

Can I discriminate against certain types or breeds of pets?

It's advisable to focus on the behaviour and history of individual pets rather than discriminating based on breeds, as breed-specific policies may be subject to legal scrutiny and can be seen as discriminatory.

What steps can I take to protect my property from potential pet-related damage?

Implementing a clear and detailed pet policy, conducting thorough tenant screening, and including specific clauses in the lease regarding pet responsibilities and potential consequences for damage can help protect your property while allowing for responsible pet ownership.

In Summary

Allowing your tenants to keep a pet is ultimately your decision as a landlord. Numerous benefits are available to landlords if they allow pets, but you still need to ensure you're always protecting yourself and your property.

For more advice on letting your property, our friendly team of agents at Your Home Managed are happy to help. If you need advice about property management in Crystal Palace, get in touch today on 0208 125 7780, or email us at

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