Angie Wright – Assistant Rentals Manager – has been in the industry for over a decade and answers this question for landlords:

Many people in the UK are pet owners and most people are fond of animals however the impact they can have on your rental property should be seriously considered. Lots of landlords are pet owners themselves but it’s important to bear in mind that the way you keep your pet in your own home may be very different to how your tenant chooses to keep their pet in your rental property.

Our experience has shown us that cats and dogs in particular can be a headache for a landlord, some scenarios we have encountered are…

• Noise from a pet being left alone throughout the day. A dog barking constantly throughout the day whilst your tenant is out at work will drive your neighbours crazy and it will be you that gets the angry phone call to deal with.

• Damage to furniture, floor coverings, woodwork and walls. Most properties that have had dogs or cats require redecoration and some furniture replacement when the tenancy has ended.

• Pets leave an odour in the property. This can be difficult to remove and will be off putting to future applicants (who may also be allergic to pets) when you are trying to re-let the property.

• A pet being in the property usually means that you, your contractors or your managing agent cannot visit without the tenants being present. This can limit your flexibility with repair works and inspection visits.

• Fleas can become an issue, sometimes months after a pet has left a property. Even when a property has had a deep clean eggs can remain dormant for months and then hatch – your new tenants will not be happy.

• The damage to gardens from dogs can be extensive – our worst experience to date left the landlord with a £2000 gardening bill.

There may be some instances where you decide to allow a pet. If this happens then we would always recommend additional clauses to be added to the tenancy agreement. Professional cleaning and carpet/upholstery cleaning should be paid for by the tenant on their exit at a minimum. We would also encourage you to ask for a higher bond to factor in additional damage that a pet can cause. Regular inspections should be undertaken to ensure any pet related damage can be spotted early and acted on immediately.

Keep your landlord hat on when making this decision. Keep things simple and say no to pets.