Why Allowing a Cat in a Rented Property Need Not Lead to Cat-astrophic Consequences!

13.02.2019

Could you be missing out on a good tenant, by not allowing a cat at your rental property?

Perhaps you are a cat owner yourself, or alternatively a landlord who won’t consider allowing any ‘pet’ in their rented property. It often comes down to a either a positive past experience, or one of those scary ‘urban tales’ from the landlord’s family and friends...

Obviously, every cat – from pure pedigrees to moggies – has its own personality or behaviours that are probably worth looking into, and considering carefully, if you’re going to allow your tenants to rent with their favourite feline friend.

Here are some things to consider about lettings and cats:

Older and wiser …

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!

Cute kittens ...

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.

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).

Not all cats always have to mean a “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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