A national newspaper investigation claims to have found widespread evidence that many letting agents are attempting to recoup revenue lost following the tenant fees ban by charging tenants a additional pet rent.
The Guardian claims that agents and landlords are charging up to £40 a month to including a single pet within a tenancy agreement.
Examples outlined by the investigation include an Oxfordshire landlord who charged a family £40 a month for a dog on top of the £995 a month they charged for ‘human’ residents of the property.
The article also claims ‘pet rent’ clauses within rental contracts are becoming common and the article quotes one agent, Elliott Oliver in Cheltenham, saying the company has no alternative but to charge extra for pets following the tenant fees ban.
Prior to the ban, most agents simply charged tenants with pets a larger rental deposit but the five-week limit brought in by the fees ban means this is no longer possible.
Examples of online adverts for properties where tenants must pay an additional rent for pets are not hard to find online.
Research by The Negotiator on all three portals found over 160 properties offered in and around London to rent which stipulate between £15 and £25 extra for pets per calendar month, although some charge more.
The charges appear to be a gaping loophole in the Tenant Fees Act, which makes no mention of prohibited charges or rent relating to pets, restricting the law to humans.
Read more about the fees ban and pets.