In this week’s #ExpertView, ARLA Propertymark looks at the impact of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 on pet owners in rented accommodation.
Prior to the Tenant Fees Act 2019, landlords could ask tenants who wanted to have a pet in their rented accommodation for a ‘pet deposit amount’, as a part of the tenancy deposit. This could be used for any identifiable defects, including additional cleaning or damage, that maybe caused by having a pet in the residence.
However, under the Tenant Fees Act 2019, landlords and letting agents are no longer able to take a higher security deposit for tenants with pets.
This change has resulted in landlords charging additional rent to their pet owning tenants.
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 does not place any restrictions on what landlords can charge their tenants for rent (other than the requirement for the rent to remain consistent throughout the rental period).
As reported recently in The Guardian newspaper, one landlord in Bicester, Oxfordshire, is asking for an additional £40 ‘per pet’ monthly, as additional rent for a two-bedroom home that costs £995 a month for the occupants. That additional rent could, for one family favourite canine, equate to an extra £480 per year.
Darren Baxter, a renter currently searching for a new home in York with his partner, two children and cocker spaniel ‘Padfoot’, was quoted in the same article saying: “In certain letting agencies it seems to be a standard term in agreements.”
He went on to say: “It seems exorbitant given the potential damage a pet can cause. We went to one place where they wanted a reference for the dog! That was ridiculous.”
ARLA Propertymark members can find out more on the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and the charges relating to tenancies with pets by logging into the members area and using the dedicated Tenant Fees Toolkit.
More advice for tenants can be found in ARLA Propertymark’s consumer advice article Renting With Pets.
TDS recently published an #AskTDS blog in response to a landlord’s question about protecting against damaged caused by pets. In the blog you will find useful information about pet tenancy clauses, tenant responsibilities and pet policies to help you take advantage of the growing market of pet owners who rent in the private rental sector.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland’s leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.
ARLA|Propertymark: For agents who would like to stay up to date, you can contact Propertymark | ARLA at: email@example.com. By being a member of Propertymark | ARLA you will be eligible for TDS Insured best headline rates.
RLA: If you are a landlord and would like to keep up to date with any changes that may affect you or your responsibilities, you can contact the RLA at: firstname.lastname@example.org and quote reference: dg715 to receive 25% off your first year’s membership.