Working like a Dog

It is Crufts week at the NEC Birmingham and I for one will be glued to the excellent TV coverage (happily, there will be more coverage this year than ever before). It is also Chinese Year of the Dog of course, so what better time to talk about pets and property!

First of all, residential landlords who have traditionally been loathe to allow tenants to have pets in their properties are thinking again. Private landlords have realised that because so few accept pets, they can charge a premium. Furthermore, being flexible means increasing the pool of potential tenants, and once let, tenants (and their precious pets) are likely to stay longer as there may be limited scope to move to another property where the landlord is less accommodating. Private Rented Sector operators have also seen the light. Many offer pet-friendly options and report that over half of those who take that option do so despite the fact that they don’t currently have a pet – but aspire to own one in the future!

Landlords of commercial premises (particularly office buildings) are also getting on board. After all, dogs are great for reducing stress. A recent study reported positive results for employers who allowed employees to bring their pets to work in areas such as job satisfaction, commitment to work and stress reduction. It is certainly the case that when our Managing Partner brings his dachshund, Dylan to the office she always gets a great reception. Whilst we may briefly lose a little productivity we save a fortune on stress balls!

Of course, some landlords (and employers) have very good reasons for not allowing pets into their buildings (given concerns relating to hygiene and allergies etc). Those who are prepared to do so, should take care when preparing Leases and Tenancy Agreements to ensure that they retain the ability to exercise proper control for the benefit of other tenants in their buildings.

Something for those in the property business to chew on as we tune in to watch Clare Balding and her furry friends in the coming days.

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