Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • GenD
    • By GenD 18th May 13, 4:53 PM
    • 21Posts
    • 10Thanks
    GenD
    Renting house - is a full month's extra deposit for pets fair?
    • #1
    • 18th May 13, 4:53 PM
    Renting house - is a full month's extra deposit for pets fair? 18th May 13 at 4:53 PM
    Hi, we're about to rent a house for the first time, having sold our flat, and I've been reading up all sorts of posts on here to find out everything we need to know, but I've got one query.

    We have 2 cats, and for the houses we've viewed so far we've made sure they do accept pets, but one of the agents said that their practice is to charge a full extra month's rent, on top of the standard one month plus a month in advance, as a separate pet damage deposit. We've got the money, and I'm reasonably confident that the cats won't cause any damage (it's an unfurnished house), so we can pay it if necessary, but obviously it's a huge chunk of money up front, so I just wanted to check if that's usual, and if you think it's a fair request?

    They also specify in the tenancy contract that if you have pets, you are not allowed to simply clean the house yourself before leaving, but you MUST have it professionally cleaned (and fumigated for fleas!) and produce a receipt to show it's been done, before they'll release the deposit. Is that usual too?

    I don't have any problem with those conditions if they're pretty standard, but I just want to make sure we're not being ripped off

    Thanks for any advice or reassurance you can give.
Page 1
    • ognum
    • By ognum 18th May 13, 5:03 PM
    • 4,717 Posts
    • 7,693 Thanks
    ognum
    • #2
    • 18th May 13, 5:03 PM
    • #2
    • 18th May 13, 5:03 PM
    For my properties the pet deposit is 500 and that is less than a third of the rent on one of my properties.

    The carpet cleaning requirements are standard I believe.
    • moromir
    • By moromir 18th May 13, 5:07 PM
    • 1,823 Posts
    • 5,010 Thanks
    moromir
    • #3
    • 18th May 13, 5:07 PM
    • #3
    • 18th May 13, 5:07 PM
    The problem with fleas is that they'll happily lay dormant for weeks while a property is empty, as soon as new tenants move in, the fleas 'activate' due to vibrations from movement of new tenants and a new food source and then whats the landlord to do?

    PS heres another thread currently on the board
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4606599

    A read of that should explain why a lot of landlords are wary/put good measures in place to prevent ongoing problems after depature.
    • ElkyElky
    • By ElkyElky 18th May 13, 5:14 PM
    • 2,422 Posts
    • 2,739 Thanks
    ElkyElky
    • #4
    • 18th May 13, 5:14 PM
    • #4
    • 18th May 13, 5:14 PM
    The problem with fleas is that they'll happily lay dormant for weeks while a property is empty, as soon as new tenants move in, the fleas 'activate' due to vibrations from movement of new tenants and a new food source and then whats the landlord to do?

    PS heres another thread currently on the board
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4606599

    A read of that should explain why a lot of landlords are wary/put good measures in place to prevent ongoing problems after depature.
    Originally posted by moromir
    Beat me to it! Fumigation won't kill the flea eggs themselves so really, it's a pointless exercise.
    Weve had to remove your signature. Please check the Forum Rules if youre unsure why its been removed and, if still unsure, email forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 18th May 13, 5:17 PM
    • 4,389 Posts
    • 7,006 Thanks
    bouicca21
    • #5
    • 18th May 13, 5:17 PM
    • #5
    • 18th May 13, 5:17 PM
    When I was a student zillionsof years ago I lived in a room where a cat had simply been a visitor. It took at least 6 weeks to get rid of the fleas. If I were a landlord I'd be insisting on fumigation too.
  • BitterAndTwisted
    • #6
    • 18th May 13, 5:39 PM
    • #6
    • 18th May 13, 5:39 PM
    Beat me to it! Fumigation won't kill the flea eggs themselves so really, it's a pointless exercise.
    Originally posted by ElkyElky
    Fumigation is not a pointless exercise at all. You've misunderstood, it's not the eggs which are resilient to insecticides, it's the pupae. Any decent insecticide will have a residual effect (up to six months) which should kill the adult fleas once they emerge from their pupae.

    Back to the OP: it's not unreasonable to ask for the equivalent of an extra month's rent as deposit on top of the regular one. I'm a cat "owner" myself and know quite well the sort of damage felines can do to furnishings and carpets.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 18th May 13, 5:57 PM
    • 48,232 Posts
    • 59,140 Thanks
    G_M
    • #7
    • 18th May 13, 5:57 PM
    • #7
    • 18th May 13, 5:57 PM
    I see no problem with the agent's proposal.

    In my own case it's more problematic:

    I typically take a standard 1.5 months rent as a deposit (+ the 1st month's rent in advance of course).

    If I added another month's rent to the deposit, this would be equivelant to 2.5 months rent, which, being more than 2, = a 'premium'.

    Charging a Premium gives tenants additional rights over a standard AST, which I do not wish to bestow.

    So I prefer just to avoid tenants with pets.

    Well, the ones who admit to pets that is, as opposed to the ones eho lie and then act all innocent "Oh I thouhgt it only applied to keeping several pets."
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 18th May 13, 6:50 PM
    • 22,824 Posts
    • 18,831 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #8
    • 18th May 13, 6:50 PM
    • #8
    • 18th May 13, 6:50 PM
    It's not really worth debating whether it's fair or not, if it's what the LL wants then you either accept it or try to find an alternative property that will allow your cats.
    • Better Days
    • By Better Days 18th May 13, 7:02 PM
    • 2,720 Posts
    • 12,578 Thanks
    Better Days
    • #9
    • 18th May 13, 7:02 PM
    • #9
    • 18th May 13, 7:02 PM
    OP, when we were looking to rent earlier this year with pets (two cats and two dogs) getting professional carpet cleaning at the end of the tenancy seems to be pretty standard. Also an extra deposit for the pets - we paid 100, but one LA charged 100 per pet - plus a 'pet registration fee of 25 (can't remember if it was per pet). Our deposit was 1.5 months and we also paid 6 months rent in advance - to sweeten the deal a little. We negotiated a small reduction in rent so everyone was happy.

    As I understand it is not unusual to pay one months rent in advance and a months rent as a deposit. We paid 1.5 months rent as a deposit - so you will be paying only 2 weeks more than we did. Do you have to pay any 'pet registration' fees?

    No mention by our LA was made of fumigation for fleas - but I can understand why this is required. At the very least I will spray round with some Indorex spray after the carpets have been cleaned just to be on the safe side.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Indorex-Household-Spray-500ml-Fleas/dp/B001A363SO

    This is really good stuff, but don't breathe it in!

    I take it you use Frontline or the like on your pets as well? I pay the extra and buy the Frontline Combo (you have to get a prescription from the vets - but you can then buy online more cheaply) which I think is the only product atm which also contains an insect growth inhibitor and so helps control problems in the house. This is a good article
    http://www.animeddirect.co.uk/advice/fleas-and-flea-control/

    My LA told me that only about 15% of LL's accept pets, (and we are in a rural area) so they do have you over a barrel. There are extra expenses related to having pets and I'm afraid this is one of them (although I must admit I was surprised when I started to look into it as we hadn't rented for years).

    In answer to your question, I don't think the LA's requirements are unreasonable, although perhaps at the far end of the spectrum of what I came across.

    I hope you enjoy your new home with your kitties.
    It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.
    James Douglas
    • grifferz
    • By grifferz 19th May 13, 1:56 AM
    • 559 Posts
    • 490 Thanks
    grifferz
    We have 2 cats, and for the houses we've viewed so far we've made sure they do accept pets, but one of the agents said that their practice is to charge a full extra month's rent, on top of the standard one month plus a month in advance, as a separate pet damage deposit. We've got the money, and I'm reasonably confident that the cats won't cause any damage (it's an unfurnished house), so we can pay it if necessary, but obviously it's a huge chunk of money up front, so I just wanted to check if that's usual, and if you think it's a fair request?
    Originally posted by GenD
    Lots of landlords won't allow pets at all, and of those who do, a full month of rent may well not cover the cost of dealing with the issues that a pet can bring. So yes I believe it is a reasonable policy.

    They also specify in the tenancy contract that if you have pets, you are not allowed to simply clean the house yourself before leaving, but you MUST have it professionally cleaned (and fumigated for fleas!) and produce a receipt to show it's been done, before they'll release the deposit. Is that usual too?
    Originally posted by GenD
    Fumigating for fleas is one thing, but I don't think that they can legally insist that you have the place professionally-cleaned. My understanding was that it is the tenant's responsibility to return the property to the state it was in when they got it, and if they can achieve that without professional cleaning then that should be good enough.

    In any case, anyone could write "Bob's Super Professional Cleaning Company" on a bit of paper and call it a receipt. Not that I would condone such behaviour, just making the point that their stipulation isn't worth much.

    However, if you end up in an argument over it then you may not get a reference. And if you want to come to an agreement that you will have it professionally-cleaned even though not legally enforceable then that is a reasonable concession to make in order to be allowed to have pets there.

    I don't have any problem with those conditions if they're pretty standard, but I just want to make sure we're not being ripped off
    Originally posted by GenD
    Asking for higher deposit when pets are allowed, and insisting on professional cleaning are both very common things to see in a tenancy agreement.
    • anotheruser
    • By anotheruser 19th May 13, 12:12 PM
    • 2,723 Posts
    • 1,572 Thanks
    anotheruser
    Our LL's are quite nice.

    They charged us an extra 100 per animal, which is safely with the deposit. So one months rent, plus the same amount for the deposit, plus an extra 200.

    Other landlords may not be as nice.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 19th May 13, 12:30 PM
    • 9,025 Posts
    • 59,992 Thanks
    LEJC
    The other thing to consider is that although the property is unfurnished so your cat is unlikely to damage furniture etc...there is another potential issue that could arise with the carpets other than fleas...clawing.

    I have cats and they have scratching posts but it doesnt mean they wont claw!...it happens over time and areas of the carpet get damaged...

    IMO the requests of the landlord regarding professional cleaning and extra deposit are reasonable,in fact your lucky that you can choose the carppet cleaning contractor...at least you will be able to search the best quote rather than having to pay for a certain stipulated one.
    • bex0309
    • By bex0309 19th May 13, 3:11 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 82 Thanks
    bex0309
    We are now in our third flat with our two cats (one in Bournemouth and two in London) and only one estate agent asked for an extra 200 for professional cleaning on on any of their properties, never any extra deposit. We simply didn't register with them. On the previous two properties we have had all of our deposit back and I foresee the same when we leave the current one. Our cats don't have fleas and if they ever did scratch any carpets, I assume it would come under normal wear and tear.

    So, in my opinion it is unreasonable, but it would depend on how much you like the flat.
    • moromir
    • By moromir 19th May 13, 3:21 PM
    • 1,823 Posts
    • 5,010 Thanks
    moromir
    Our cats don't have fleas and if they ever did scratch any carpets, I assume it would come under normal wear and tear.
    by bex0309
    And OP, this is the exact tenant attitude that landlords are trying to avoid like the plague.

    Noone's pet is 100% flea free 100% of the time, thats an absolutely ignorant statement to make as a pet owner.

    Animals pick up fleas, even when they are regularly treated with preventative chemicals like Frontline. They might not become infested to the level you start noticing them on your pet but they'll be there now and again.

    Heck I even spray my sofa with flea killer every month despite the moggy having regular treatments, just in case.

    A cat shredding and pulling a carpet is damage. It is NOT fair wear and tear.

    Fair wear and tear would be normal traffic wear over a number of years, faded spots where the sun naturally bleaches fibres etc.

    I'm actually quite floored by the irresponsible attitude of this poster and feeling quite sorry for responsible pet owners who have to rent under extra conditions because of this type of attitude
    • anotheruser
    • By anotheruser 19th May 13, 5:13 PM
    • 2,723 Posts
    • 1,572 Thanks
    anotheruser
    My cats have been 100% flea free for at least 24 months... one has never had fleas, the other caught them when they were on heat.
    Plus, if they are indoor cats, then they can't really catch fleas :S
    • sgun
    • By sgun 19th May 13, 8:10 PM
    • 403 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    sgun
    My cat is 13 and has never had fleas and I don't use Frontline. Just lucky I suppose, he goes out and "socialises" (fights) with other cats. I do regularly worm but for some reason the fleas don't like him. Believe me I would know if he had fleas even at low levels for only a couple of days because I'm allergic to their bites.

    Scratching the carpets and furniture is definitely NOT wear and tear. My cat doesn't have fleas but he wrecks cheap carpets (hasn't managed to destroy the one from John Lewis though, much better quality that Carpetright but thats another thread).

    I don't accept tenants with pets but if I did the terms imposed to the OP seem reasonable and I would do something similar but would maybe waive the fumigation if they stayed for longer than three years and pay it myself.
    • GenD
    • By GenD 20th May 13, 10:46 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    GenD
    Thanks for all the info, you guys on here are great

    We actually saw another house today which we like, and this agent only requested an extra 100 deposit for pets, and no cleaning stipulation other than the usual 'leave it as you found it'. I was quite surprised, because I totally understand that a landlord has to protect themselves in case of expensive damage by ignorant or irresponsible tenants (which I hope we would never be!)

    I'm pretty certain the cats don't have fleas, because they live 100% indoors so never come in contact with other animals, and on their annual vet check-ups and boosters they've never found any, so I don't actually use any flea treatments, but I do understand it would cause a problem for a landlord if he/she was left with an infestation, and there's not really any way of proving in advance that the cats are flea-free!

    When we've decided which property to go for, I'll happily pay whatever the requested deposit is, now that I know it's pretty standard.

    Thanks again, I'm sure I'll be back with more questions at some point, this is such a useful forum
    • bex0309
    • By bex0309 23rd May 13, 11:53 AM
    • 43 Posts
    • 82 Thanks
    bex0309
    And OP, this is the exact tenant attitude that landlords are trying to avoid like the plague.

    Noone's pet is 100% flea free 100% of the time, thats an absolutely ignorant statement to make as a pet owner.

    Animals pick up fleas, even when they are regularly treated with preventative chemicals like Frontline. They might not become infested to the level you start noticing them on your pet but they'll be there now and again.

    Heck I even spray my sofa with flea killer every month despite the moggy having regular treatments, just in case.

    A cat shredding and pulling a carpet is damage. It is NOT fair wear and tear.

    Fair wear and tear would be normal traffic wear over a number of years, faded spots where the sun naturally bleaches fibres etc.

    I'm actually quite floored by the irresponsible attitude of this poster and feeling quite sorry for responsible pet owners who have to rent under extra conditions because of this type of attitude
    Originally posted by moromir
    Well, I'm glad you aren't our landlord! As I mentioned, we have never had any of our deposit taken from us, when leaving a rental property so obviously our landlords were happy with the condition we left the properties in.

    Personally I have never seen any damage on carpets from our cats and notice I said "I would assume" that it would be normal wear and tear, because we have never had this problem. Take a closer look before judging and branding others irresponsible.

    I would also say whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat might affect any level of damage. As we have a garden, I would imagine any scratching not done on the post indoors is done on trees in the garden.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,752Posts Today

6,236Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Channel 4 really screwed up not doing this on the Tory leaders debate last night, just think of the ratings... https://t.co/eYYfAYGdck

  • Teacher/head in a London(ish) senior school? I want film a 1hr ish talk to 16-18 yr olds on student finance (to put? https://t.co/dSsSp1UVDF

  • RT @thismorning: As a ban on rip-off bank fees is announced, @MartinSLewis explains if you can reclaim, and how to cut your overdraft costs?

  • Follow Martin