New tech allows landlords to charge for pets without breaking fees ban rules
A new tech platform lets landlords capitalise on the increase in tenants looking to rent with a pet, while keeping on the rights side of the law.
PlanetRent generates fully compliant contracts in minutes, which can include a standardised pet-friendly clause and a fixed, transparent monthly charge to help cover the costs of keeping a pet in a rented home. It say the typical extra rent charged is £50 a month or £600 a year.
The tenant fees ban outlawed the use of fees charged to tenants who want to live with their pets, but it does allow landlords to charge extra rent for a dog or cat without being considered a ‘fee’.
While 44% of people in the UK are pet-owners, only 7% of buy-to-let investors advertise their property as suitable for pets because many worry about maintenance costs or the insurance implications of housing tenants with pets.
Planet Rent believes there could be even more potential renters looking for properties to share with a furry friend, as the pandemic has seen an increase in the number of people looking for pets as companions, with dog breeders especially reporting a massive increase in interest. The Kennel Club group recently reported a 180% rise in inquiries over the last year.
Unless buy-to-let landlords change their approach to pet-friendly rentals, they risk losing customers, warns Mary-Anne Bowring, founder of PlanetRent.co.uk.
She says: “While pets are typically associated with higher maintenance costs, landlords risk fishing from an ever-smaller pond by refusing to accommodate renters with pets, especially as the big institutional and corporate landlords entering Britain’s rental market are typically pet-friendly in their developments.”
PlanetRent allows documents to be accessed virtually and enables contracts to be generated in seconds so they can be e-signed by landlords, tenants and agents.