Landlords advised to be vigilant when letting property to pet owners

Published: 17/02/2013

They may be considered man’s best friend but a recent study has shown pets can cost landlords a fortune.

A study by the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) of 2000 pet owners has shown a pet, on average, causes £658 worth of damage including:

  • Replacing broken or ruined furniture (£258)
  • Fixing and repairing items (£177)
  • Cleaning carpets and/or furniture (£167).

While repairing such damage would fall on the shoulders of the pet owner, tenants are becoming increasingly clever at hiding the damage caused by their pet or even hiding signs of a pet altogether; the full extent of the destruction not being evident until the tenant has moved out.

The AIIC has seen many examples of pet damage and has developed seven top hints and tips for landlords to help them spot an unwelcome furry friend.

  1. Make frequent visits to your property
  2. Look under sofa cushions for hair or feathers as tenants don’t often vacuum under there
  3. Check under all mats, tables and beds for any stains
  4. Examine all furniture for scratches as these could be caused by claw marks particularly table legs, door frames, kitchen cupboards and the back of the sofa and armchairs
  5. Check carpets for thread pulls or fluffing (often most noticeable in doorways)
  6. Gnawed and nibbled cables can often be a sign of a pet rabbit, guinea pig or hamster
  7. And don’t forget to check the garden or any outside space; yellowing grass is often a clear indictor of a pet.

If a tenancy agreement specifically prohibits the tenant from having any pets in the property, a landlord can, by law, evict the tenant before the end of the fixed term. They would be required to serve a Section 8 Notice on their tenant.

As a leading expert in landlord law GW LET can assist all landlords in this situation. Contact our dedicated team for more information.

Content correct at time of publication

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