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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Tenants with dogs

One of my tenants is just moving out.

They had two dogs. I've written before about the dilemma of letting to tenants with pets. The advantage for many landlords is that because not all us landlords are open to letting tenants occupy our prized buy-to-let is that once tenants find a property that they can keep their pets in then they tend to stay.

The charity Lets with Pets which campaigns to help owners of pets find suitable accommodation highlights the issue with their recent survey which showed that out of 5,695 UK pet owners surveyed found that one in three could not find a suitable property whilst 47% found letting agents 'unhelpful'.

My experience of a dogs life

My experience was that the dogs and the tenants were fine. However, the lounge carpet was pretty much destroyed and has been left thread bear. There was definitely a pungent 'parfum de dog'. The costs of replacement of this carpet probably runs to a couple of hundred pounds and the carpet cleaning bill for the house came in at £130. This sounds a lot. However, compared to the £15,000 + rent received over the last few years not an awful lot.

The reality is if you do let to a tenant with a dog. Then expect that 'fido' presence will not go unoticed. That is just reality.

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Anonymous said...

as a dog lover i have let to tenants with dogs and had to have the carpet cleaned twice to get rid of the smell. Cost obout £100 but as they were good tenants thought it was worth it. I newver refuse to pet lovers as in this economic climate more pets will be either aboandoned or put down

Gareth C Thomas said...

I always tend to veer away from allowing pets, especially dogs, to reside in my rentals. Alot depends on the owner/tenant for sure but in my experience they cause alot of damage and the!

Recently had a DSS tenant trash the place. She had a dog. The lovely puppy grew into a fearsome pit-bull type of thing and crapped everywhere (or rather the owner LET IT CRAP everywhere). When my workman went in he said it was absolutely disgusting, and she had a daughter under 10 and a baby too! When I got possession the poo was wrapped up in a dust sheet and never even disposed of!

So as a general rule I would prevent DSS tenants living in MY properties from owning pets because they should be spending what money they get looking after themselves and their children buying food, clothing and paying for the heating costs and general running expenses. In my opinion I don't think they should waste their money on dog food and medical bills.

At the end of the day it's down to the landlord and his/her discretion.

Note: I don't dislike animals, I just prefer not to house them myself.

Paul Barrett said...

Couldn't agree more more human beings first pets second.
the other thing shouldn't these tenants be out looking for work?
How can they manage a dog if they 'might' end up with a job.....!
Sorry I'm being faceitous.
I have social tenants round me and they all seem to have these horrible pit bull type dogs.
It seems if you are on the soshe this is the only dog you have.
Whatever hapened to labradors and alsations, pddles etc.
Far nicer but of course not half as meancing which makes you wonder how these claimants afford such a dog.
Couldn't be they indulge in nefarious income generating strategies could it!>
I would not let my place out to such a tenant.
My rule no pets.
I'd accept a pet bird; parrot, budgie etc.
Maybe even a cat if my places wer appropriate which they aren't.
This is apart from a house where they do have cats with my permission.

Luke said...

I couldn't disagree more!

I'm sorry but I think its shocking how you Landlords can even consider not letting to people with pets!

Just read the article and what you are missing out on... £15,00+ rent and all you have to pay out at the end of a tenancy is roughly £300, Your mad and it really pees me off to see that you can really be that stuck up!

I don't have a dog but I used to and I had no end of trouble with getting a rental and this is why. All you are doing is thinking of your huge wad of cash. i have noticed that a few of the letting agents I ave been looking to rent through take as a £150 deposit for having a dog and £100 for cats, good idea I think maybe you stuck up landlords should take a leaf out of their book.

@PAUL BARRETT - Not all people on DSS or HB are jobless! I have all the benefits i can get but I'm self employed. I don't agree with people claiming JSA and not wanting to work but roughly 75% of the people on benefits have them because they need them and are ENTITLED to them. Maybe you should look into it, you could be entitled to some as well.

The rant is nearly over but I do have one more thing to get off my chest and I know it has nothing to do with this topic but I want to know what you would do if a young adult (18 - 21) along with his or her family came to view your property and where on benefits? Would you turn them away? Because all the Landlords I have spoke to recently seem to be doing it and it really racks me off.

The_Maluka said...

Please do not blame landlords for refusing tenants under the age of 35. As from next year such people will not be able to pay even the most modest rent should they have to claim DSS benefit. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the government.

Paul Barrett said...

Luke mate it is nothing personal but it is a lot easier to deal with a tenant who does not have a 4 legged friend.
They do smell they do have accidents I therefore do not feel the need to rent to pet owning tenants.
In my flat block we have a dog who is always pissing in the common area by the lift.
Not very pleasant.
The block cleaners are not happy about the situation and I don't blame them for feeling that way.
Also any person on benefit cannot afford a dog, and they should be concentrating on working.
You cannot be a responsible dog owner if you are out working all the time.
It is cruel to leave a dog alone for hours on end.
One reason why I never had a dog much though I would have liked to.
I appreciate what you say about the potential longevity of a pet owning tenant on the basis that once found a tenant will be reluctant to give up a place which accepts his pet.
Nearly all my places are flats.
I do not think it fair to a dog to leave it cooped up in a flat.
they should always be able to go out to a garden.
I am not stuck up just being pragmatic.
I would say however that I would adopt a case by case scenario.
So whilst I say no pets it is always worthwhile a prospective tenant from raising the question with me.
Example if you say you have a small poodle or chihuahua I would be inclined to say yes.
If you had a pit bull or similar type dog I would say no.
Why people have to have these aggressive dogs I don't know.
Or rather I do which is why I won't accept a tenant who wants or has such a dog.
I would add I have no problem in sourcing tenant who do not have pet dogs; why should I really bother with the hassle involved.
Your £300 for remedial works following a pet dog leaving is derisory.
The potential damage and smell would be much more than that to rectify.
Where does this big wodge of cash from and even if I did what is it to you.
Without people like me wishing to invest my capital into a property you would have nowhere to live.
And don't tell me I have priced you out of the market.
It totally down to lenders not lending enough and requiring huge deposits.
What I choose to do with my capital is my business.
On this occasion I chose to unvest in good quality accommodation for which I hope to receive a market rent.
The fact that I have negative equity if £150000.00 and have been stictched up by wrongun tenants to the tune of £100000.00 and had 2 properties repossessed because of those scumbag tenants was entirely my investment risk.
don't go around with the widely held, incorrect view that landlords are making a killing.
They are not; we live on a just in time basis that is rent in motgage paid.
This gets upset when scumbag tenants do not meet their contractual obligations in paying rent.
We as landlords are not charities to subsidies scumbag tenants who seem to think their lifestyles have to be paid for by mug landlords.
Benefits..... need and entitlement..2 different things.
You may need benefit it is just that you may not be entitled to them.
Appreciate people work and receive benefit aswell; all power to them.
What about the 5 million economically inactive people in this country.
There was the case of the 2 lazy scumbag benefit claimants on £1600.00 benefit per mont.
I dont get anywhere near that amount form my public service pension wfor which I had to contribute 11 3/4%! of my gross wages for 31 years.
I have to pay ALL my costs myself and I am on less money than this benefit scuffer who states he would not go out to work as he would only be maginally better off!!?
Now of course there are scuffers in the top income bracket aswell evading taxes etc and they should be pursued with as much vigour as benefit cheats etc.
Your last query
Under NO circumstances whatsoever would I take you on as a tenant.
Firstly wear and tear caused by kids on the social, they do more damage than othe non social kids.
Secondly do you think I coul

Paul Barrett said...

To assist this post and the dilemmas involved I have just come across a useful website to further assist landlords to take on pet owning tenants.
You can download a free manual and it seems quite thorough.
The site is
Perhaps this manual might change my prejudices.
I am always willing to listen to opposing views.
This manual might just change my mind.
It is 23 pages long!

Luke said...

quote - 'Under NO circumstances whatsoever would I take you on as a tenant.
Firstly wear and tear caused by kids on the social, they do more damage than othe non social kids'

Yet again Paul you don't realize how far over the edge you have pushed me! You say that without you we would have no where to live but then look later in your rant and you will find that you say you would never take me on because I get benefits and have kids? You really don't realize:

A) How much of a Twat you are!

B) How much you have narrowed your market down.

Yes I understand you have had bad experiences in the past and yes without LANDLORDS most of the British community wouldn't have anywhere to live but the point of the matter is if you are going to be a Landlord then be open minded! Not every tenant is the same!

You look at the amount of people, especially in the current economical climate, that have kids and are on benefits... at least 30-40% of the county I live in are! And I know that of those people 95% of those people would pay on time every time and would respect the property.

You are so stereo typical it is unreal! Just because I'm 20 my partner is 18 and we have a son and another baby on the way you think we aren't going to look after your pride and joy! You are in the wrong industry! Go and invest what little capital you have left on something worth while if your just going to b***h and moan, it is because of people like you that young people have so little look in finding a property. If you are in that much doubt on how good your tenants get a guarantor and take the rent from the guarantor because then you know they will be good tenants. If someone said that to me and my family (like they have before) then we would agree to it (like before) because it shows how good a tenant they are.

If anyone else has anything to say about us young people then please feel free to comment and I will fight my corner till I'm blue in the face because its just wrong to be stereo typical in this day and age!

Paul Barrett said...

This comment is a bit off topic but I will reply.
Your comments show your naivety.
You state you have 1 child and you have another one
I for one would not wish to rent to someone like you.
I prefer to rent out to professionals.
You do not seem to appreciate that unless a guarantor passes a Rent Guarantee Insurance check then as a guarantor they would be useless.
Do you know anyone who as a guarantor would need sufficient income and equity in their property to pass the criteria.
This guarantor could face losing their property or having an attachment of earnings order.
I very much doubt that you know ANYONE that would be prepared to risk everything for you.

Wait til UC comes in and council tax is paid by councils and not funded by govt.
There are 68200 properties that will have to be withdrawn from the rental market if they do not meet EPC A-E by 2018 as they don't presently and with new EU mortgage rgulations potentially coming into force there will be less properties available to you.
In short no landlord will need to take on LHA claimants like you as there are more than enough quality tenants out there who deserve my property than you.
My suggestion to you get rid of any dogs you have; go and get a job, start using contraception.
You will feel a lot better if you do these things; do you really want to waste your life away being a benefit scrounger.
Your age why not join the services; they give you everything, including accommodation for family and all you have to do is put your life on the line.
A small price to pay for all that advantage.
I suggest you look at your own domestic problems which have been caused by you and stop blaming everyone else for the difficulties you are now finding.

you know who said...

Again Paul you fail to read to whole statement I made! I can't even be arsed to fight back now.

To summarize I claim benefits because I am on a low self employment income due to just starting up! I no longer have a dog, and it was a planned baby! I will tell you the image I get of you every time I read something you have written. I imagine an old man, sitting in a bedsit, curtains drawn, shaking in the corner because of his negative equity, with his only outlet being his PC and he is still the sort of person who refuses to see that most people now days will claim what ever help they can to live. You may be able to get tenants that don't have housing benefits but I really don't see it happening soon. Everybody is up s**t creek without a paddle and the way Cameron and Clegg are running the country we are going back to the dark ages!

-quote- November 16 2011 - The unemployment rate stands at 8.3% - up 0.4% over the quarter and 0.5% over the year. 29.07 million people were in work in July to September 2011 according to the labour force survey (LFS). The number of people employed was 197,000 lower this quarter and 109,000 lower than last year -quote-

This says it all. the economy is going backwards! and your stuck in your old fashioned ways! get with the times and stop giving the high and mighty!

Paul Barrett said...

No in actual fact I am raking it in despite negative equity.
I live in a very nice ground floor riverside flat in a very nice market town.
Beacause of scumbag LHA claimants and the useless county court system I have had 2 properties repossessed with massive shortfalls which I now owe but will not pay back.
I will not be paying them back and I will be waiting for statute barring of those debts so it is the shareholders of those banks which will take the hit.
I will be sitting pretty.
Whilst interest rates remain low then I and my tenants WILL be ok.
If they go up then I and they will be stuffed along with millions of other tenants and landlords.
I owe over £190000.00 in addition to my £150000.00 of negative equity to unsecured creditors which I will never pay back caused by lending money to associates who never paid back.
Had I taken out RGI on my LHA scum tenants then I would not have lost the 2 properties.
My mistake which won't happen again.
This means unfortunately for you that I cannot risk taking someone like you on.
It is nothing personal it is just the way the system protects the tenant and leaves the poor old landlord with ALL the liabilities.
So IF you qualified for RGI then yes I would consider taking you on.
This as it would be the RGI company taking the risk and not me.
£50000.00 per claim means it could be 4 1/2 years before I would be out of pocket as the RGI would pay the rent that maybe you wouldn't be paying; I would imagine you would have been evicted by then.
How can you plan for a baby when you are on the soshe
If there were no benefits you wouldn't plan to have kids so why take the piss out of us tax payers just because you can.
It sounds to me like you know ALL about your rights but very little about responsibilities.
I have 2nd charges on ALL my proerties so that if lenders tried the 2nd charge route they would not get anywhere.
My 2nd charge is with someone who WILL NOT be motiviated to sell my properties to recover those charges.
In short in 6 years time ALL my personal debts WILL BE statute barred and I will be in the clear.
I will still have over £380000.00 of personal debts owed to associates and family which I intend to pay back.
This is principally effected by tenants paying rent.
Losing 2 properties because of scumbag LHA tenants means I have lost over £50000.00 of capital and future capital gains with those properties just so I could house LHA claimants for nothing.
I am not a charity.
All I expect is for tenants to pay their rent for good quality accommodation which I do my best to provide.
It seems however that the system conspires against LL who take on LHA claimants and therefore I for one will not be risking my personal financial situation on LHA claimants again.
Don't you think I have lost enough already?
So yes you are almost right in that whilst I have rental income plus my pension I cannot live the high life as I am responsible to pay back personal debts which were caused by my irresponibility in lending money to arseholes who didn't pay me back.
I spent 15 years working extra jobs just to pay the min payments on all the credit card debts and I had to sell my previous house with £165000 of equity to repay a close family member all the money borrowed on credit cards which had been used to sustain min payments on cards that I had lent money to and who chose not to pay me back.
I appreciate that it was my mistake in lending such monies and I am suffering for it as a consequence.
However I am not going to risk being stitched up again by an LHA claimant and that means YOU.

Anonymous said...

Problem is, that all the flats here are carpeted. Of course carpet will smell like a dog, cigarettes, bits of cooking, mud from your shoes, or whatever is touching it.

I ask every tenant to clean the carpets, in the same matter the I ask him to paint the walls. Both are like washing a shirt before you give to someone else.

Working people who can afford pets, and pet lovers are usually good people. From my experience most of my best tenants were dog owners. Of course a DSS with an aggressive Pitbull wouldn't be my tenant.

I recently bought a new flat, and I'm going to have this one tiled all over, rather than carpeted. I recommend all landlords to make tiled floors, it looks and feels posh, easier to clean and lasts longer.

And if you don't like pets that's OK, more tenants for me.