Experts argue that as the private rental sector is more likely to allow more pets, the importance of professional inventories becomes evident. The upcoming Renters Reform Bill, expected to become law next year, will facilitate tenants’ ability to keep pets in rented properties.
Landlords will be obligated to carefully assess all pet requests and provide written approval or denial within 42 days. If a landlord rejects a pet request and tenants contest the decision, the matter may be referred to the courts or a newly-established Ombudsman. This emphasizes the necessity of thorough inventories to manage potential risks for landlords in the changing rental landscape.
Association of Independent Inventory Clerks
According to Daniel Evans, the chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, a comprehensive inventory detailing the property’s condition at the beginning of the tenancy is crucial for landlords. With the likelihood of more tenants being allowed to have pets, the potential for property damage increases.
While many pet owners are responsible, there’s always a risk of damage when animals are in their properties. Disputes may arise over fair wear and tear, but accurate documentation and photographs of the property’s state upon the tenant’s move-in are essential for resolution.
As part of the new reforms, landlords can now request tenants to purchase insurance for their pets to cover property damage, or tenants can arrange their own insurance, which they will be responsible for paying. In the past, landlords could charge higher deposits for pet-owning tenants, but since 2019, promises have been capped at five weeks’ rent.
According to Evans, insurance coverage can be helpful, but sometimes pet damage may not be immediately discovered, leading to potential complications if the tenant hasn’t maintained insurance premiums. In such cases, landlords may rely on the tenant’s deposit to cover the damage. The inventory becomes crucial in providing evidence to either support or refute the case, including the property’s condition, its decor, cleanliness, and any associated gardens or outbuildings.
“In certain instances, a viable approach to address this matter could involve conducting more frequent property inspections. The most suitable candidate for this task is the professional clerk responsible for creating the check-in inventory.
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