Landlords in England are charging additional pet rent, as recent fees ban prevents them from asking tenants for a pet deposit.
The Guardian has reported this week that tenants with animals are being charged up to £50 a month extra rent for a single pet.
This is becoming an increasingly popular way for landlords to recoup lost income since the Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force on 1st June.
Darren Baxter, a renter looking for a home in York with his partner, two children and cocker spaniel Padfoot, told The Guardian: “In certain letting agencies it seems to be a standard term in agreements.
“It seems exorbitant given the potential damage a pet can cause. We went to one place where they wanted a reference for the dog. That was ridiculous.”
He pointed out that this is yet another example of how people who cannot afford to buy are disadvantaged when it comes to being able to enjoy some of the basics of family life.
The ban on tenant fees is supposed to be saving renters in England a total of £240m a year. However, with landlords no longer able to ask for an additional pet deposit, which would have been refundable at the end of the tenancy, they now feel they need to increase rent prices to guarantee this financial security.
Karolina Misiukiewicz, administrator at Elliot Oliver, an estate agent in Cheltenham, told The Guardian: “The only way to do it is to charge higher rent.
“It’s a new thing for us. In our experience we haven’t taken extra for hamsters or gerbils and definitely not fish.”
According to the veterinary charity PDSA, half of UK adults own a pet. This includes around 11 million owning cats and almost 9 million owning dogs. Research from Landbay, the buy-to-let focussed marketplace lender, has also found that a let where pets are allowed is the most sought-after attribute for tenants, when looking for a new home to rent.