One last Christmas humbug
I know everyone’s in full festive swing and bursting with Ho Ho Ho. But before I sign off for the year and head for the mulled wine and mince pies, I’ve got one last humbug I need to impart and then just a small dash of Christmas cheer.
I don’t want to dampen your spirits but a word of warning to tenants and landlords alike.
Parties are of course par for the course at this time of year but before you pop the first popper or open your doors to a stranger please bear in mind the following.
1. If you’re a landlord, make contact with your tenants and remind them about what is permitted by the tenancy agreement and what is considered acceptable behaviour. You may have specific terms about parties or you just may need to “gently” remind them about noise nuisance, damage and what the consequences will be.
2. If you’re a tenant, you do not want to forfeit your deposit, face eviction in the new year or worse, so if you’re thinking of holding a party:
- Let your neighbours know and be considerate. Think about noise levels and how long a party is going to go on for particularly if this is likely to affect those next door. When it gets to 11pm, turn the noise or the music down and make sure you’re not making a noise, night after night. Remember, section 144 of the Housing Act 1996 provides that excessive noise nuisance can be possible grounds for eviction.
- Be very careful who you invite. Not everyone will take as much care as you do in respect of the fixtures and fittings and it’s your deposit on the line! If the worst does happen and something gets damaged, be honest about it to your landlord and tell them as soon as possible. That won’t guarantee you won’t have to pay for it but it will go a long way towards some goodwill.
On a brighter note, does your property welcome pets?
According to a recent survey, people who rent in the UK are prepared to pay £484 more a year in rent for somewhere that accommodates their furry friend, with properties with a garden or near a park scoring particularly well! In fact, the survey reveals that 9% have paid for an extra room for their pet, with dogs being the favourite and cats in second place.
If you’re a landlord, allowing tenants to keep pets may be something that you’ve steered well away from and perhaps that’s part of the problem. We’re a nation of animal lovers and there’s not much we won’t do for our pets. 7% of those surveyed had kept a pet without the permission of their landlord and 21% had gone to the effort of agreeing a pet clause and having it included as a term of their tenancy.
Allowing pets may not be for you, but if you have a property you’re struggling to rent or could really do with that extra bit of income, it’s something that might be worth considering. It’s also far better to have an open conversation with a prospective tenant about the keeping of pets and then include a suitable pet clause in the tenancy, than to find out that they’ve being keeping a pet without permission and then lose someone who was otherwise a good tenant.
More and more people are turning to renting as the only affordable housing option and we do love our pets. They don’t necessarily have to be the nuisance or make the mess that we sometimes anticipate and are of course, often an important part of family life. Tap into that part of the tenant market and you may just find the hair of the dog is the answer to your rental headache. It’s certainly worth a thought isn’t it and I’ll be blogging about pets and tenancies in more detail in the new year.
On that note, and with a glass in my hand that’s brimming over with good cheer, may I wish you a very happy Christmas and a successful 2017. See you on the other side.
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