OpenRent Community

Deposit cap and pets

I was just wondering, we are often asked if we will take tenants with pets and organisations like cats protection league lobby for more landlords to take them saying an extra deposit can be paid to cover any additional pet-related damage. With the 5 week cap does that mean additional deposits for pet damage are illegal?

Hi - yes, exactly. This is a problem no one seemed to talk about much during the consultation process, though it’s one that OpenRent raised with Heather Wheeler, an MHCLG minister.

Sadly, the deposit cap could indeed make it harder for pet owners to convince landlords to let to them.

But it’s unclear whether the extra deposit was ever an effective way of tackling pet damage anyway. It was more of a psychological tool tenants could use to ‘put their money where their mouth is’ when persuading the landlord that their pets were well behaved.

In theory, a dog could do far more damage than the extra ~£200 deposit could ever cover.

As a tenant with a cat and a dog the deposit cap means we can never move again without saving desperately for a mortgage! Before the change in law we were able to offer an additional “pet bond” which we have always had returned because we are good tenants with good pets. 90% of listings have No pets, No Smokers, No DSS and I understand that landlords have to cover their own backs for their own potential damage costs/loses. In reality if ridiculous letting agency fees had been done away with but deposits could have still been flexible that would have helped everyone. Now I’ve got to hope that If I want to move I can offer extra rent every month instead of an additional deposit! It’s not like the cat or the dog ever spilt nail varnish on the carpet, or burnt the kitchen side with a hot pan, or drawn on the walls in marker pen yet we still lease to families with children. :joy:

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