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Agents beware: Students-with-pets are becoming more common…

Lettings agents are being told by an online platform to be extra-vigilant as increasing numbers of student tenants are getting pets.

The platform, UniHomes, says more students are becoming emboldened to get dogs, cats and other household pets by the publicity for the government’s revised model tenancy agreement which has pet ownership as a default right for tenants.

Even though the model tenancy agreement is actually rarely used by most agents and landlords, the publicity surrounding it may lead some tenants - innocently or knowingly - into interpreting the right to a pet for themselves, the platform suggests. 

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Research has found that so far 2.1m people have added a pet to their family while in lockdown, with a further 1.8m planning to join them soon; some students are amongst the new pet owners. 

The platform says its own research with approaching 1,100 students has discovered that only six per cent of all student accommodation currently listed on the market is pet friendly, but 10 per cent of students apparently already have a cat or dog. 

A UniHomes spokesman says: “Recent amendments to the model tenancy agreement mean that more landlords could be about to open up their homes to well-behaved pet roommates for students studying at university.

“However, we would urge both landlords and letting agents to be vigilant when it comes to student pet rental requests and consider the welfare of the animal as much as the potential impact on their property.

“We’ve seen numerous cases where students have left pets for the landlord or agent to deal with once they’ve finished their studies and we wouldn’t advise it for students who are keen to live the party lifestyle.”

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    • 19 February 2021 08:15 AM

    Not ever. No way in any property that I have.
    I have a 150% of NO STUDENTS. Whatever the offer.

    I should probably prepare a ready to go contract if they want it.

    The first line will state that the monthly rent is £75,000.00 per month payable in advance. And they pay all maintenance and breakages and the insurance policy, should they decide to burn it down. It will also need a deposit of £25,000.
    I might get lucky.

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    • 19 February 2021 08:17 AM

    Strewth - Students AND shi**ing animals!!!!!!??????
    Still. same thing really, I reckon?
    Need to triple the price.

  • Patrick  Rodgers

    I don't have students renter's buy I do have people who rent with dogs which I don't mind at all I have one lady who rents a property of me and she has a dog and there is no problems what so ever but that dog to that lady is the world even though I am a landlord who am I to say you cant have a pet get it not the end of the world having a pet to listen to some of these landlords you think it were

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    They can have all the pets in the world, just NOT IN MY PROPERTY.

     
  • Patrick  Rodgers

    And I have no problem with pet tenants contacts I don't have students as I don't have property near university's but if I did I wouldn't have any problems with that

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    • S S
    • 19 February 2021 09:43 AM

    I have 3 children, 2 are currently students and one has just started working as a doctor!!! The quality of some student accommodation is utterly appalling, yet those LL also want top dollar and look to rip off students when leaving the property - we had photographic evidence that their student house was left in a cleaner and tidier state than at the start but the agents (corporate company - part of CW) managed to find £1600 worth of "cleaning" - including the hob/oven/extractor - which i personally cleaned and it was left better than at the start. Yes - I threatened TDS and surprisingly all the charges and damages suddenly were resolved! Another agent even tried charged for cleaning 4 carpets in the house....there were only 2 and they were cheap old carpets that could not even be cleaned professionally. Due to a leak, when they moved into the property, there was a huge hole in the hallway wall - no bothered telling them, and that took another 4 months to be resolved - (without any discount in rent, and they had to pay for the electricity to try and dry the wall out) - That would not have happened if a "family" had been renting the house - and the students were paying around £400/500 more per month than the house would have achieved as a family rental (having said that the quality of the fittings were so poor, a family probably would not have even considered the property) . I know a number of LL who rent to students but provide good clean high quality accommodation - surprisingly they have no problems. Why people have to act as if all students are bad, i don't understand. If you provide cheap, nasty and poor accommodation then of course no one will respect it, but provide good quality accommodation and the majority of students will respect it. There will always be a minority that don't but that is the case in all walks of life. LL of student properties could not rent the same properties out to a family and achieve the same level of rent, so yes there will be more turnover of furnishings, maybe higher level of maintenance but as a LL you will be getting a higher return. But please stop the constant berating of students - they have to accumulate a tremendous amount of debt to go to university these days - around £18,000 per year, they have to sign up for year long tenancies 9 months in advance including until last year often paying 2 months deposit - (who else has to do that?) and yet they often only live in the properties for less than 9 months - perhaps as little as 7 months. If LL want higher returns than a traditional family let, students are the cash cow - but expect higher costs and remember that provide poor accommodation why should the tenants respect you - you obviously don't respect them.

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    Goodness - what a post!!

    Students (and I have been a parent of and LL to students) are their own worst enemies in many cases. I call them 'naive renters' because they don't really understand that they are signing a legal contract and they have responsibilities as well as rights. They will often sign anything to get the house with their mates.

    I agree that this should not give LLs the right to rip them off but I can assure you that the maintenance of a property with 4 or 5 students is significantly higher than a with a single family.

    However this article is about students having pets - and I'm afraid I do not believe students should have pets. Pets do just not fit into a student lifestyle or a shared house. Owning a pet will significantly reduce the number of properties available to you, not only as a student but in several years after as pets often live quite long lives. Why would you want to make yourself an undesirable tenant?

    My kids all love animals, but none got a pet until they were established in their own home.

     
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    No pets will ever be allowed in my property.

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    Bristol City Council have distributed this in their latest BUlletin for landlords, "The government has amended its model tenancy agreement to allow pets. Landlords will now have to object in writing within 28 days of a written request from a tenant and provide a good reason for refusal. "

    The implication being that landlords have to accept pets. No mention that use of the model tenancy agreement is not law.

  • Terry Tipps

    Always fun watching talentless letting agents and morally-bankrupt landlords falling over themselves to justify why it's their legal right to make people's lives a misery.

    If you don't trust the tenant to have a pet, don't rent to that tenant. How is this hard?

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    That is exactly what we do - don't rent to tenants with pets! Not quite sure why wanting to rent a decent property to a tenant who will look after it makes me morally bankrupt?! I can only assume that you are a saintly tenant, because we all know that tenants are saints and LLs are scum.

     
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    Had a tenant that was ok. Decided to have a friend stay and the friend brought 4 ferrets with them. All carpets ended up chewed, doors and skirting boards damaged in every room, not to mention the smell that was left when they finally absconded. It cost thousands to put the house right. So in answer to your comment. Not all landlords are millionaires and not all tenants treat the property well. Funniest thing is that this tenant contacted me last week saying that they owed me some money (CCJ came up) and can we come to an arrangement because the Local Authority said that to go on their waiting list an arrangement to pay the debt must be in place. So being such a nice person I suggested that as it took them 5 years to get in touch with me then contact me in another 5 years. Unfortunately bad experiences are what people relate to so maybe preach to the people who cause the issues 1st. Or better still sublet to me and I will bring my pet and you can sort out any issues later as I will be off in the wind. Thanks

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    As someone who helps their grandmother with letting their properties, kids these days do more damage to the properties than the pets we’ve had in so far! I have to admit the attitude towards students alone from landlords is disgusting and to top it off to add pets the landlords are disrespectful, dismissive and undermining at times. We all know that properties are a way to get an income, and yes it’s nice to take pride in our properties. But to dismiss someone based on their occupation and then even further their companion is a loss to the landlord. In the future, I hope more landlords like my grandmother and I would consider well behaved pets, even ask for a pet cv or video to get to the know the pet. Also ask to meet the pet and owner before considering. We have lovely relationships with our tenants because we make the effort to know a little about them so then we feel secure and so do the tenants about letting the property. We currently have two females students living in a property with their dog. We have had no problems with them, they are nice, mature students who work and study. Getting to know your tenants is important. This business is not a money transfer only business, it is not just about making profits, renovating to get more profit and that’s it. It’s about finding the right tenants that have respect for the home, the landlord and the lifestyle. We as landlords need to start taking into consideration, peoples mental health, their lifestyle, their morals and values and who they and their pets are. It’s such a shame because you’re loosing out on money by not allowing pets. You can charge a further 2% or more of the monthly rent as a pets safety deposit, on top of the safety deposit. You can charge a little extra on the rent as well for having a pet. So what is the big deal? Landlords are just getting greedier, inconsiderate and blinder by the day! Open your minds, hearts and homes to the consideration of pets, that allows you to consider case by case instead of a straight yes to pets. Always get to know the tenant if you don’t want to lose your money!!!

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