Should Landlords Be Able To Take A Pet Security Deposit?
Recently there has been a lot of discussion as to whether landlords should be able to dictate whether pets are accepted at their properties or not. Pressure has been mounting on the government in the last few years to bring in legislation; meaning landlords cannot discriminate against tenants because they have pets – this has mounted further with the number of tenants getting pets over lockdown increasing. Recent research has suggested that there are 17 million households in the UK who now own at least one pet.
One idea, which a number of landlords and industry experts have suggested, is that landlords may be more willing to accept pets if they are able to take a larger security deposit to cover any potential damage caused. At present, the maximum security deposit which can be taken against a tenancy is capped at 5 weeks' rent.
However, campaigners have suggested that if an additional amount can be held as an added safeguard for tenancies with pets then more landlords would be willing to allow pets in their rental properties. This would also result in landlords having a much higher capacity of tenant enquiries, suggesting they might be able to secure their ideal tenants quicker than if they had had a blanket ban on pets.
From a tenant’s perspective, it looks as though people are divided on this. At Taylor & Co we often have enquiries from potential tenants with pets who have offered up an additional ‘pet security deposit’ to landlords, but due to the security deposit cap, this hasn’t been something we have been able to suggest to landlords. Other research has suggested that potential tenants with pets are either unwilling or unable to find the funds to cover an additional deposit. There has been some suggestion that it is unfair to burden tenants with this additional ‘tax’ as they are then punished for simply owning a pet.
The topic of pets in rental properties is always going to be a potentially contentious one, particularly as it is the few unruly pets that spoil it for the vast majority that cause no problems. At Taylor & Co we always strive to find a happy medium so that both landlords and tenants are happy with the situation.
If you would like to discuss this further or would like any advice on any of the above, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly team on 01747 416516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org