Can Inventories Help Reduce the Risk of Pet Damages?

Date Published 04 September 2023

With the Renters Reform Bill on the way, how can Landlords reduce the risk from damages to the property made by pets. One of the main topics of the Renters Reform Bill is to allow more rights to tenants who already have or would like to buy a pet. The private rental sector will be obliged to allow more pets into lets, meaning that we will need more professional inventories carried out.

The government wants to make the Renters Reform Bill to become law by next year. However currently the second reading of this will be set in September so there is still a lot of work to be carried out before this becomes law.

Landlords will have to consider all requests from tenants who wish to keep a pet and will be required to allow or deny permission within 42 days of writing. If a Landlord refuses a pet request and tenants decide to challenge the decision, the matter could be referred to the courts or a newly-created Ombudsman.

To make this easier their needs to be a detailed inventory showing the condition of a property at the start of the tenancy agreement to be sure of the extent of any damage which may have been done by a pet. If more tenants are going to be allowed pets, the danger of additional property damage increases. The main way to resolve what constitutes as fair wear and tear is to have accurate documentation and photographic representation of the state of the property when the tenant moved in.

Part of the new provisions of the Renters Reform is a clause allowing Landlords to request that the tenant buys insurance to cover their pets for property damage or organize their own insurance which would be paid for by the tenants. In years gone by, Landlords could have charged a higher deposit for pet-owning tenants but deposits have been capped at five weeks' rent since 2019.