Pet Insurance / Compensation

I am getting rather annoyed and frustrated by tenants ignoring the pre-agreed principle of no pets allowed in our properties, by trying to sneak them in without prior permission. We discovered 2 such incidents in our recent periodic inspections which I consider to be nothing short of deceitful.

It is my intention to introduce a clause in our contracts to require pet insurance for any authorised introduction of pets, and to penalise tenants who do not request permission and introduce unauthorised pets without providing pet insurance, or those allowing the insurance to lapse, with an increased rent for unauthorised additional ‘occupants’.

I must confess I have not looked into any related legislative / legal text and would very much appreciate input from knowledgeable landlords in this aspect of letting.

I’m also aware of the previous posts on this related topic regarding pet insurance and wondered if policies have improved since then to include “pet damage”.

Please note this is in no way intended to be a conversation regarding the merits or otherwise of allowing pets into rented property, since I believe the subject has been discussed ad nauseum in previous topics and would therefore respectfully request this topic does not get ‘hijacked’ for that purpose.

As a landlord I firmly believe it is my right to protect my property in any way I see fit within the constraints of current legislation.

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You can’t compel tenants to take out pet insurance at the moment as its a breach of the Tenant Fees Act. Your only option is probably s21 as its unrealistic to expect them to dispose of the pet.

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I’m not at all convinced about the future viability of ‘Pet Insurance’. Insurance generally covers single incidents causing damage, not gradual wear & tear. eg. Your car insurance covers an accident, but wont cover the fact that the seat leather has gradually been worn. Pet insurance likewise (when they become available), might cover if a pet damaged your carpet in a single incident, but not gradual wear of the carpet caused by a negligent owner allowing the pet to constantly walk in with dirty feet.

I too have concerns that pets are sometimes moved in without authority, but whilst I’m not a pet lover, tend to accept the risks as being a risk of the Landlord profession.

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Thanks Karl, I appreciate your comments and I agree entirely with your views. My major concern is pet damage and odours.

We are pet lovers, we have 2 dogs in our home, but they are the cleanest and most well behaved you would ever come across, and we live in the tropics with an open house environment and hard floor surfaces, so no pet smells.

If I was still hands on in UK, I would not enter the properties for maintenance as I’m seriously allergic to cats.

Unfortunately, the majority of tenants don’t appear to take the same care, and I specifically object to them introducing pets without asking permission, which is simply deviousness, but after 27 years of letting property, I also do appreciate it comes with the territory.

I recently saw on Rightmove a property quoting different rent levels dependent on the number of occupants, so why is that acceptable but not for pets is my contention.

Landlord legislation is becoming so intractable I, for one, am seriously considering selling up.

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By insisting on pet insurance are you not then condoning the owning of pets and would you not have to change your TA genuine question

I would still not allow pets at the application stage in our communal flat buildings in principle.

The ‘introduction’ of pets into our properties, by stealth without our authority, is something you cannot avoid if the tenant is so inclined to be deceitful, and the pet insurance requirement would be a possible solution / alternative to trying to evict the tenant on those, now considered, unacceptable grounds, especially since the damage, potentially, has already been done prior to detection.

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Is it really deemed a “fee”?

We have the requirement for tenants to procure their own contents insurance which is, apparently, acceptable.

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The TFA talks not just about charging fees directly, but also about requiring a tenant to pay a fee to someone else. Thats why the Renters Reform Bill is proposing to change the TFA to allow the landlord to require pet insurance. Im afraid you cant require them to take out contents insurance either.

I also agree that pet insurance is not the answer.

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OK, thanks for the info David.

My mistake in the wording of “requiring”, but they are responsible for their own contents insurance and cannot rely on the landlord to cover their belongings.

We recently had a flood ruining 3 flats due to a tenants defective washing machine. Thankfully our insurance covered it, or the tenant would have been facing a huge bill without their own contents insurance.

Just issue a section 21, deceitful on a pet then what else.

I’m certainly considering it. I will review the situation upon my return to UK in May.

Well, you are not alone. I once found tenants breeding alsatians in one of my properties and the puppies were allowed to wee over the carpets. I gave a section 21 and it cost me £1,000’s to get it right after they left and of course they just disappeared.
Essentially there isn’t much you can do about it in reality, you can talk to them and if it’s a big issue then section 21. Often if it’s a house with garden I might put in a dog /cat flap if they are good tenants.
There of course is the government’s move to where tenants have the right to own pets.
Ultimately it’s your choice, if you can live with a pet then allow it and if you cant then serve notice. Having a work from home family in a house with garden a pet can improve stability of tenancy. With my flats I tend to say no as they move around more plus animals weren’t bred to live indoors all the time

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Dreadful…!
I think I would have blown a fuse and chased them to the ends of the earth to make them pay.
I agree, I have no problem in houses, but the flats are a no go.
God help us when the RRB comes into play.

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Yes.

It’s an extra payment the LL requires them to make in order to rent the property. That is specifically what the Tenant Fees Act was passed to prevent.

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Include in your tenancy agreement additional pet rent for authorised and a much higher amount for unauthorised.

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Its an interesting idea, but I dont think a judge would allow it. If the clause were struck out as unfair, it would leave you with no increase at all for unauthorised pets.

In any insurance policy any award goes to the policyholder ie you tenant, not a good idea. Just put the rent up, if they dont like it they can leave.
I am against pets, I have a tenant with a dog that uses the garden as a toilet instead of taking the dog for a walk as we do. Feel sorry for the dog.

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You’ll know well enough if that is plausible. The rent may already be above market value or they may well be happy to pay the rent rise.

I’d say just issue S21.

Genuine question please dint think im being sarcastic or flippant
When you (as a LL) stipulate NO pets do you genuinely mean ALL pets (goldfish hamster guinea-pig etc) or is it mainly referring to dogs & cats

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I just let a property, that clearly said no pets. The last people had cat and damaged carpets so I recarpeted . Moved in straight away with a bloody cat. I will be wanted full payments for carpets out of their bond when time comes. Hopefully thy will stay there a long time and it will work its self out. It’s very annoying but at least thy won’t want me going round every time a lightbulb goes :smile: thy did there own pluming last month and offered to paint garden fences.

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