One of the many by-products of the Covid 19 pandemic has been the massive increase in pets for people to cuddle up to. Now that we can go out more it is not so bad but in the depths of winter, when it was cold and windy, we were all stuck inside and the demand for dogs and cats rose geometrically.
The challenge being that for many families in rented accommodation, this presented many problems, as not all landlords are willing to have pets in their properties. Meanwhile, the Government has recognised this need and is pushing for more lenient tenancies that allow for more flexibility from Landlords and more responsibility from Tenants, in terms of Pet Insurance.
From the Landlord’s perspective it is about maintaining the property clean and tidy, plus keeping the noise down so that the neighbours aren’t disturbed! From the Tenant’s perspective they want the company of a four-legged friend, although saying this the Tenant does not always know how to manage the pet!
Cats are relatively easy, apart from some male “tom” cats, who have the most pungent urine you can imagine, made worse by their natural habit of marking their territory by spraying their urine over everything. This includes sofas, carpets and curtains! Despite this, one of the advantages with cats is that they don’t need exercising .. all you need to do is install a cat-flap in the backdoor, so that they can let themselves out. Against this, our experience is that cats invariably leave fleas behind after the tenants have left and their eradication can cost upwards of £240 to treat with flea bombs and pressurised sprays.
Similarly, dogs have seen a huge spike in demand with puppy prices going sky high. The challenge we find with dogs is that families don’t always give them enough exercise and they can in frustration destroy carpets and sofas. Certainly, with more people working from home, exercising dogs is much less of a problem than it used to be and is a great way to increase cardiovascular exercise. The challenge though of urine in the house and poos left in the gardens are still there, but if it means that dogs are saved from being put down and have a loving family, this is a small price to pay for some cuddles, companionship that will reduce stress and improve mental health.
So, whether you are a tenant or a Landlord all you need to do is be aware of the problems and if in doubt ask your Letting Agent for help. Here at Blue i Properties, we are very willing to help, as being prepared is the key to the successful letting of properties with pets, as we know that tenants, with well looked after pets will stay longer, which means less voids.