Letting agents are to be quizzed to establish the true cost of damages to rental accommodation by tenants.
The “What’s the damage?” online survey is a joint project between industry trade bodies Propertymark and the National Residential Landlords Association, along with East Midlands-based pets charity AdvoCATS.
The purpose of the research is to provide accurate data of the type of damage caused in rental accommodation by adults, children and pets, as well as the cost to landlords and method of recovery.
The results will be presented to Housing Minister Eddie Hughes by AdvoCATS later this Spring, to further enhance their ‘Heads for Tails' report and proposals to amend the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and making renting with pets easier for both parties, thus avoiding the impact of “no pets” clauses.
The ongoing campaign is calling for a landlord to be allowed to either request a financially capped pet deposit or stipulate that pet damage insurance must be held by any tenant wanting to keep a pet or pets.
Propertymark says thie is currently backed by over 35 organisations and more than MPs and Peers.
Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, comments: “Many renters are pet owners, but due to the Tenants Fees Act which caps security deposits, letting agents and their landlords are no longer able to fully mitigate the additional risks associated when letting their property to tenants with pets. We hope that the responses collected from this survey will strengthen our calls for changes to current rules and that the UK Government will explore options that incentivise landlords to rent to more people with pets.”
AdvoCATS co-founder Jennifer Berezai adds: “We know that fear and cost of pet damage is one of the main barriers to landlords accepting pets, and this survey will give a better understanding of the reality of those fears, and how they compare to other causes and costs of damage. These questions haven't been asked before, and the answers will give us a unique insight into landlords' experiences."
And Chris Norris, policy director for the National Residential Landlords Association, comments: “We understand the importance that pets have for many renters, especially those wanting companionship. However, the system at present does not allow the true heightened risk of pets to be reflected in deposits. We encourage landlords to complete this survey as we work to ensure there is sufficient confidence to rent to tenants with pets.”