How to Avoid Cat-astrophic Consequences with a Cat in a Rented Property!
Some landlords prefer cats to dogs, because they are cat lovers themselves, and others won’t consider allowing any ‘pet’ in their rented property. It often comes down to past experience or feline tails (pardon the pun) from the landlord’s family and friends...
Cats (much like dogs) come with their own caveats and purr-sonalities that are worth looking into if you’re going to allow your tenants to rent with Tiddles in tow!
Here are some things to consider while you paws (pardon another one!) for thought over lettings and cats
The old ones are the best…
Older cats are used to living with their owners and are often calmer – especially with a cat-flap in the door that allows them to come and go at will. They may also be a bonus in an area that may be prone to rodents – even the Prime Minister has an adopted cat from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Larry the Chief Mouser, at 10 Downing Street!
Kittens can be great fun (for the tenant) until they come home one day to find that the property has been turned into a playground and the kitten is halfway through destroying the landlord’s vertical blinds – or even the sofa! It’s probably best to only agree to a kitten in a fairly robust and unfurnished property, where the tenant provides their own blinds, curtains, and soft furnishings.
It’s also worth asking the tenants to put a detailed request in writing. For example: details of the cat’s size and age, and if this is likely to be a temporary or permanent arrangement.
Pet owners expect a little extra...
Responsible pet owners expect extra costs to allow for additional wear and tear, and it may be reasonable to ask for some additional rent – say about £20–25 per month.
This will mean that you will be able to build up a small ‘repairs’ fund in order to quickly cover any additional work at the end of the tenancy (such as scratches to the doors).
If you agree to the tenants keeping a cat at the property, consider adding a pet clause to your tenancy agreement (signed by both parties).
Pets don’t have to mean no.
Many tenants will have well-behaved cats due to good training and ownership skills. However, it is always advisable to put in writing what you both agree to be acceptable and to make it clear that you understand that a pet is an important part of your tenant’s life. In *2016 it was estimated that 11 million (40%) of UK households have pets, with 17% having a cat, so it can be a common request from tenants.
If you’d like to know more about lets with pets, please just ask.
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Thanks again Caroline for your support in all of these property issues – I value your and Anthony’s experience and wisdom. Mrs P, Landlord, Leamington Spa