OpenRent Community

Tenant asking permission to own cat

Hello , can i ask your experience on this subject. My new tenant (3 month into a 12 months tenancy) is asking permission to bring in pet - a cat.

She acknowledged the property was advertised as ‘no pets allowed’

Has anyone got experience dealing with case such as this?

So, I’d say no or ask the tenant to pay additional money to cover damages and additional inspections. Depending on the size of the property £25-£50 p.c.m.

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It’s a no from me too

there is another long thread on pets on OPenrent suggest you find it

Many thanks for your responses. I think the new rule states LL cannot say NO without genuine reason.

I also read LL can’t charge fee.

@Colin3 i thought so. Will search again

there has to be a reason… EG another tenant sharing the communal area has an alergy to fur/animal hair… at beginning of a tenancy you can charge exta rent for a pet

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The reason can be fairly straightforward, such as you are concerned about damage caused by clawing, p’ing and diseases that cant be covered by the deposit.

You can ask the tenant to agree to increase the rent per month. You can also ask for an additional deposit up to the new maximum (5 weeks rent yes?)

So for example if rent is 400/month and you asked for a 400 deposit, and now you ask it increase to 425/month - then you can ask they pay the difference of 125 to cover the full 5 weeks’ deposit (425/month->525 deposit, only 400 paid)

My math may be wrong please do not quote me on this. I can’t remember how they calculate weekly income on monthly rent, which is why most people use one months’ deposit I imagine.

You can say no for any reason however it may not hold up in court. I do not know what recourse the tenant has if the landlord says no.

It’s speculated that finding the tenant has a pet against lease will not hold up in court as cause for eviction. I do not know if this has actually been proven in court or not. My understanding is that evictions over covid are taking ages as well.

I don’t think you can increase the deposit at all, unless you sign a new contract, which requires the tenant to agree.

Also, I would say 99% of LLs already take the whole 5 weeks’ deposit.

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Really? I’ve never had one do that or seen a property asking it. Increasing the rent can require creating a whole new contract as well.

If it’s feasible I think that’s the best idea when adding pets in. I would want specific clauses to address the pet care explicitly rather than just leaving it at an open ended “pets allowed”. Requiring they put a mat under the litter box and food/water bowls, for one, and provide appropriate scratching posts. I think requiring the pet be fixed should be reasonable (not sure if it is, but it’ll remove a lot of the issues if the pet is fixed)

The tenant’s willingness to agree to this would say a lot, and hopefully even if they’re inexperienced those guidelines will help to protect the property.

You are under no obligation to agree. Cats can cause damage from scratching and may leave lingering impact for future tenants who are allergic. Also is there a cat flap for access? Personally I would not agree to a cat that requires open window access for example. If you say yes you could increase rent, but you are not allowed to specifically charge any fee for pets. Main thing is make sure you get the tenant to sign an addendum specifically for the named pet - covering welfare, pet damage to be deducted from deposit, professional cleaning and flea treatment and no further pets without permission. Ordinarily I would say no but, I allowed two of my tenants to have a dog but only on this basis - one of them is veterinary nurse so I made an exception.

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I find this really sad. As a landlord who owns moggies, I know they do make dirt, fur and paw prints but they are all easily cleaned. I could not live anywhere where I could not have them with me.

As to damage - there is nothing they can do to the fabric of the building that can’t be repaired or replaced by the tenant. Furniture they can do a lot of damage. I would be very open with the tenant and have an in depth discussion explaining your genuine concerns about the damage they could do to the property and securing an agreement that anything that might happen will be remedied.

One of my properties has twice had a dog owning couple and I have had no problems, they’ve kept the property in lovely condition, the other property has no children or pets and I have constant bills - for plumbing, electrics, drainage, fencing, garage door repairs etc and they also frequently get behind with the rent. I know which tenants I prefer.

Make sure your prospective cat owning tenant is going to be a responsible pet owner and that the property is suitable for a cat and you should be OK.

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What gets me about the ban on pets is that my kids have done far more damage than a cat is even capable of. We’re good at cleaning/fixing so the landlord never knows, which we’d also do with pets.

Potty training kids mean a lot more urine on the floor than a cat with a litter box, that’s for sure.

That said I do think landlord’s should be allowed to take a pet deposit. My understanding is that once that option was removed the willingness to take pets dropped.

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Hi
I advertised one of my properties NO PETS, but have ended up with a cat in one and a dog in the other. The owners are very responsible and having inspected each property regularly, there is absolutely no damage. I think you need to decide based on your knowledge, responsibility and trust in your tenant. One of my tenants is long-standing the other relatively new, but they way they reacted to their pets was a good sign and sometimes you can tell just from their interaction with their animals. Good luck.

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I think it depends on your relationship with the tenant, if you’re letting furnished or unfurnished, and if you feel they’re responsible people. We allowed a couple to have a cat on the understanding that they replaced what the cat damaged. There was a sofa. The cat scratched it inevitably and they paid for a new set of covers when they moved on. It also helped it was a ground floor flat with access to the outside so less danger of soiling and smells.

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many thanks everyone for your thoughts, comments and more importantly your time. much appreciated

My last tenant had 5 cats - I am violently allergic to cats so I was wary, but I thought the tenant was staying long term so I was intending to replace what carpets were there when they moved out, but they moved out sooner than I anticipated so they had to be cleaned rather than replaced.

Even after being cleaned I was still a bit sniffy when I visited so it could have been an issue for future tenants if they were also allergic.

I would say if you have decent carpets you don’t want to replace, or if you have furnishings then say no to pets. However, if you either have old carpets, or laminate/wood floors then ask for a rent increase (can only be after the first fixed term ends) this should cover your additional costs of cleaning and getting flea bombs.

The tenant has at least asked your permission, which is good for a start.
If this is a house or flat with access to a garden or other natural outdoor space for the cat I’d be inclined to agree. If it’s a small upstairs flat I’d say no. This is trying to think of the welfare of the animal, as well as the other issues, even indoor cats need space.
I have had problems with a tenant who (without permission) introduced a cat with two kittens into a small first floor bedsit. The poor animals were so desperate to get out that they’d clambered down from the window to a narrow outside ledge and left piles of poo there. I asked the tenant and his cats to leave, which they did.

I would say no … that’s not what you both signed up to in your contract.
Only correspond via email so there is a track ,no phone calls , WhatsApp or texts , and refer them to the section in their contract that mentions no pets .
Distance yourself emotionally you are running a business, it’s a business transaction a home for payment as per the terms of your contract, not a charity.
Make sure you do your 3 month checks on the property, hopefully you have put this in your contract .
Serve notice legally within the terms of your contract and the law.
Find a new tenant that respects the contract , your property and you.
Money is not everything who needs an extra £25 here and there versus the damage that can be done with animals

Ditto what David122 says! A definite No from me, based on previous naivety.
I’d stressed no pets in fully furnished property (carpeted lounge, fabric sofa).A year in, tenant asked to foster a mother cat & kitten for 12 weeks. On next visit, with no request or notification, I found they had 6 of their own, what they called “house” cats - i.e. they NEVER got out of the house and had the free run of it, whilst tenants both worked full time. Tenant refused to allow me to let tradesman open a top opener window 1/2 an inch to use an electric cable in the garden and they NEVER opened windows for ventilation, hence mould!. At Check out, they tried to conceal all the scratched corners of sofa, the cat pee on sofa arms and walls, the stench in the house, etc. That’s the only time I’ve been to ADR over deposit - I got some back, but not enough to cover my costs for damages/replacements, since Adjudicators favour tenant’s lies!. A learning curve for me - more comprehensive Check In/Inventory thereafter!

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