By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Far more tenants keep pets than admit it, ‘left items’ suggest

An agency says its bizarre list of items left behind by departing tenants shows how many renters actually appear to keep pets.

A survey of 500 landlords on the books of online agency Intus Lettings shows that amongst the least surprising items left behind at check out were clothes, appliances, discarded rubbish and post house party mess.

But some findings have been much more shocking.


Animals – dead and alive – were a common theme within landlords’ responses, with everything from unreported cats and dogs that had been living in the property against rental agreements, to the more unexpected: a rat in an oven, uncaged tarantula and ducks living in a bath. 

One landlord reported discovering a large lizard roaming the living room and another said they’d found a donkey living in the garden.

Hope McKendrick, head of lettings at Intus, says: “When you consider that 42 per cent of landlords say they have banned pets from their properties, the number who told us they had found animal life at their homes is considerable – and the vast array of species kept by tenants is bordering on the unbelievable. 

“It just goes to show how important it is to carry out regular inspections and have clear contracts and deposit policies in place in order for landlords to protect their properties.”

Other landlords reported finding sex toys, drug paraphernalia and alcohol, including one respondent who had found 64 empty Jack Daniels bottles stashed in the airing cupboard.

McKendrick continues: “Keeping tabs on rentals can be time consuming and stressful, particularly for the 50 per cent of landlords who have more than one buy-to-let, or those that live far away from properties.

“Seeking the support of a letting agent is a sure-fire way to keep nasty surprises to a minimum and ensure that if issues do arise, they’re dealt with swiftly and professionally.”

  • jeremy clarke

    As an agency we have started physical mid term visits again and already have discovered that a number of tenants have introduced cats dogs and other pets during lockdown without landlord's consent. Most landlords have reacted badly wanting the pets out but what can we do? Already 2 check out inspections have left us with houses smelling like wet dogs, the landlord of a 3 storey town house faces a bill of over £7,000 to replace carpets within a week before new tenants move in. The law needs changing urgently to make tenants 100% liable for all damages caused by their pets. If we know about pets we insist on insurance but that can be cancelled at any time and doesn't cover the disgusting smell that is left behind !

  • Matthew Payne

    It wont just be pets, subletting will be back with a vengeance since Brexit. Regular inspections are key, always have been, but probably the most important thing is the most rigorous tenant selection to start with, and not just relying on your standard £15 reference from whichever agency you use.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up