We’re encroaching the end of May.
The last time I blogged was in the middle of Feb.
Welcome back everyone!
I’m pleased to say that many new faces have joined the landlord club since I last got down, so they’re about to get deflowered (but sadly, many will never be seen or felt again, because they didn’t quite realise they signed up for).
So, anyways, you know how sometimes – for months on end – falling asleep is infinitely more appealing than getting shit done? Well that’s what happened to me.
Anyways… I’m back! Ironically, even sleeping gets tiring.
My tenant wants a dog (even though we mutually agreed to a ‘no pet’ policy)…
Hi Landlord. Do you mind if I get a small dog? I promise I’ll take care of it, and it won’t cause any problems. I love this house too much to ruin it.
Thanks for asking, but… URGH! (*&*!!@!*(&!!!
- My black-hearted tenant is trying to sabotage our peaceful and harmonious relationship by attempting to overthrow our “no pet” policy. I really thought we had a lifelong understanding here.
- The property/landlord was marketed as being NOT pet-friendly! As per routine, my advert description contained an entire section on how all animals are magical and mystical creatures, but they’re wholly unwelcome in the particular property being offered (and permission is required if the rules are to be bent, just to avoid any “unfair clause” allegations).
- Now I’m going to look like the bad guy for tossing my tenant’s request in the bin like a used diaphragm, all because I’m sticking to the deal. The nerve of this guy!
- Now I’m going to have to be on full alert like an abandoned and malnourished gazelle, because I wouldn’t put it past my inconsiderate tenant to sneak Snowball in through the back doors.
- What annoys me the most is that my tenant got a little shirty with ME and seemed bewildered for rejecting his request, even though – I’m going to say it again – I’m sticking to the deal we BOTH agreed to! Un-dicking-believable! *slaps forehead*
- I doubt it will happen, but my tenant could leverage his position [of being a long-term and faithful tenant with a super nice and fair landlord] and call my bluff, believing that I wouldn’t dispose of his carcass onto the streets even if he proceeded with getting Snowball.
It’s a bet he could possibly win.
Screw him and my weakness :/
On a side note, it’s amusing that whenever a tenant tries to negotiate a pass for a dog in the middle of a no-pet tenancy (which commonly happens), it’s always *small* and *too cute*, almost like they’re implying that I consciously chose to enforce a “no pet policy” because I was completely oblivious to the fact that small and cute dogs exist.
I know they exist, motherfucker.
I also know the little-bitty one’s are the worst kind; they take twice as many dumps, they smell like old peoples’ homes (urine and cabbage), and they’re horny as all hell.
I actually have no idea if any of that is true, but it works with my narrative.
What’s my legal position if my tenant gets an authorised dog/pet?
None really, well, unless I have reasonable grounds for refusing the request, which I don’t.
From what I’ve been told, the fluff-ball is the size of a hamster, so I can’t refuse permission on the grounds of it being too big and impractical for the property (which would be perfectly reasonable grounds).
I could, of course, refuse to continue the tenancy at the end of the fixed term by serving a Section 21 notice and claim mandatory repossession. That would probably be the quickest and cleanest solution in my current circumstance since the end date isn’t all that far away.
That would teach my tenant. And Snowball, the flea-infested wrecking-ball!
Either way, just to clarify, I’m not saying that repossession/eviction is the best, fairest or most practical solution, I’m just sharing what I believe the legal recall could be, just in case you’re in the dog-shitting predicament and curious to what your rights are.
Why I’m not a pet-friendly landlord…
That’s an irrelevant question, because the point is we made a pact at the beginning of the tenancy. That’s why my tenant’s request felt like a stab in the heart.
I thought he was different.
If I say I hate Brussels sprouts, don’t invite me around for dinner and sneak a couple of ‘sprouts into your hideous hot-pot concoction hoping I don’t notice. Believe you me, I’ll notice, and it’s your plumbing that will suffer.
Update: apparently my facetious comment above has been misconstrued, because someone came gunning for me (comment #142), thinking that I was threatening to intentionally sabotage my tenants plumbing if she fed me Brussel sprouts (or if she got a pet without my permission).
Sorry Turbo, but you spazzed out over nothing. What I was actually saying is that if someone feeds me Brussel sprouts, the plumbing would suffer because it would result in an almighty and explosive shit (one that I wouldn’t be able to hold until I got home), sure to cause blockages.
Answers on a postcard: how did you interpret my comment?
YOU heartless dog hating piss-ant, you have no soul. I WILL DESTROY YOU. And your dress sense is shit.
Alright, let’s just all calm down.
I know how emotionally charged people get over their pets, especially dog owners, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m on the receiving end of an earful. So perhaps I should provide some clarity on my actual position when it comes to animals and pets, because it may save some of you from wasting time on crafting together a scathing and personal attack. But probably not.
I’m not an animal lover per’se, but I do appreciate and respect dogs (and every other living creature). I *probably* wouldn’t ever own a dog myself, because I lack the time and patience, and to be frank, the idea of dog hair moulting all over the place, especially on my alligator rug (which is the centrepiece of my game’s room) – would be debilitating for me.
However, on the other hand, I’m massively aware and supportive of animal rights, and can’t stomach animal cruelty of any form. Even obscenely irritating buzzing flies get guided out through an open window in my house, despite how tempting it is to smack them into an oblivion with my 10 foot pecker.
Should you accept/allow your tenant to have a dog?
Meh, it’s up to you.
I honestly don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer, because there’s legitimate pros and cons for both sides of the coin. However, if you’re anything like me – a lazy twit that does everything and anything to avoid headaches – you’d be better off nipping the idea of being pet-friendly in the butt from the get-go.
My rational for refusing pets is the same as why I don’t provide furnished property – I want to limit the amount of variables that can go tits-up. That’s all it is.
The law says landlords can’t use blanket pet ban clauses to prevent tenants from keeping pets because it’s subject to the unfair terms regulations (which is part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015), but landlords can include clauses that require tenants to request permission if they wish to keep pets (which isn’t a straight prohibition clause). But the problem is, we need reasonable grounds to refuse any requests (e.g. if a dog is too large for the property).
However, in reality, landlords can easily choose tenants without pets, or refuse to continue a tenancy if a back-stabbing tenant that has a change of heart mid-tenancy (like mine did). So while we’re not allowed to rely on or use pet prohibition clauses, we really do have control over the situation.
Is it discrimination to refuse pets?
Does a bear rinse its ass in a bidet?
Coincidentally, a couple of days ago, a hippy do-gooder (no offence if you’re reading this, Maxine) left a comment in my ‘landlord & pets guide’ blog post, with a link to a petition on change.org, titled “Stop discrimination towards tenants with pets and children!”
She said nothing else. Just posted the link. Efficient like an assassin.
If you’re all for the cause, then all the power to you- sign the thing (at the time of writing this blog post, there’s an uninspiring 620 signatures, so hopefully this extra exposure gives it the kick up the ass it needs). I’m not against the petition; it’s for a noble cause, no doubt. However, I wouldn’t touch it with yours.
BUT, WAIT!! How can you say you’re massively aware and supportive of animal rights, and then refuse your tenant the right to have a dog, you contradicting rat-weasel?
*shrugs shoulders* Probably, just like how I think homelessness is one of the sadist realities of mankind, but I wouldn’t invite a tramp to live with me. I’ll toss a few coins into The Salvation Army bucket, though.
I do appreciate the problem, and I do sympathise; a lot of good pet-owners get shafted by their evil counterparts. But at the same time I’ve had one too many bad experiences with pet-owners, and I believe I have the right to limit my risks.
But at the end of the day, MY TENANT AGREED TO THE T&C’S! I didn’t move the goalposts.. HE DID! So start a petition against him and every other goalpost moving asshole!!
If you are pet-friendly or considering it…
If you’re game, or in the midst of contemplation, here are a few nuggets to wrap your noggin around:
- If you’re providing a furnished property, you may want to bear in mind that dogs love chewing, cats love scratching, and both love humping and spunking over inanimate objects.
- Pet-friendly landlords are often in limited supply, so there’s opportunity to offset the risk by charging above the standard market rate. Like I said, most pet-owners are bat-shit crazy about their pets, so they’ll stump up the extra required.
But be fair with it!
- Demand a bigger tenancy deposit than normal, at least 1.5 x rent, or as much as you’re legally entitled to (i.e. landlords in England can only charge a maximum of 5 weeks worth of rent). You’ll probably need it at the end of the tenancy.
- You can include a mandatory non-refundable deposit to cover the cost of professional cleaning [to scrape faeces out from under the freezer] at the end of the tenancy.
- Throwing together a solid property inventory is always advisable, but it’s non-negotiable if your tenant comes shackled with a fuzz-ball or two.
- Have a [fair] pet policy that tenants should adhere to.
- You should be doing this regardless, but on the off chance that you’re a bit of a wally, you may need this gentle reminder to retrieve references from the tenant’s previous landlords (if they have one, that is).
- In similar vein to the point above… don’t forget your regular property inspections.
If Lassy is chewing up your carpets, you’ll probably want to know about it sooner rather than later.
- I strongly believe that a dog is only as well-behaved as its owner. So if the dog’s a pissing-idiot, then its owner probably is, too. That’s why it’s cool to meet both owner and pet before making any decisions. Judge for yourself.
- Whatever the animal in question, do your own research on the breed, including their genetic personality and behavioural characteristics.
- If you have a leasehold BTL, check the T&C’s of the lease, because some state that animals are prohibited from residing at the property.
- Consider the size of your property and the practicality of the space available. If you’re letting a shoebox flat, it would be cruel to even consider allowing a dog to reside in there. So, arguably, there is a ethical element to consider.
- It’s no secret, I’m a gigantic advocate of 6 month tenancy agreements for new tenancies (and then permanently allowing it remain a periodic tenancy) – I think all landlords/tenants should initially strike up a 6 month deal to “see how it goes”, especially if fluffy creatures are involved.
That way, if tits go up and skirting boards get chewed to smithereens, landlords can at least end the tenancy on mandatory grounds pretty quickly without too much fuss.
- Don’t allow yourself to feel pressured into accepting pets if you’re not comfortable with it.
Be warned, sob stories from tenants are commonly plentiful in order to sneak pets into the vicinity i.e. my mother is terminally ill, she can’t care after her dog anymore.
Yeah, really? I want to see a doctors note.
Rely on common sense and your gut instinct. If those lack, it’s probably safer just to refuse pets without thinking too hard about it.
- Take into consideration the lifestyle of the tenants; if they’re going to be at work all day (and/or night), bear in mind the dog/pet will most likely be left at home during that time. You do the maths!
So yeah, how about my tenant, aye? What a dick-face for putting me in that position :)
Now, I await with excitement, to hear about your tenant and pet related experiences and disasters. Ideally, I’d like to hear a story that involves an unauthorised Great Dane and excrement the size of dinosaurs. That would be pretty awesome.
Love & peace xoxo
P.s A man walks into a zoo, the only animal is a dog.
It was a shitzu.
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.