What’s living next door to your rented property?

I’ve just been looking at the results of our latest survey: did you know you could be living next to a collection of monkeys, llamas, snakes and crocodiles! We recently contacted over 50 local and district councils and asked for details of the dangerous and wild animals’ licenses they’ve issued in 2010 and it turns out that people in the UK own a whole host of unusual creatures from Asian leopard cats and red-fronted lemurs to bison, lynx and wild boar.

I’m sure, like me, you’re amazed by the variety of animals tucked away in our sleepy suburbs and it goes to show that you never know what might be living next door.

Whilst it’s not necessarily a bad thing, landlords and tenants should be aware of the impact this has on them and their rental properties.

If you’re a new tenant, make sure you thoroughly research a potential new property and ask for as much information from the landlord as possible. And if you’re thinking of bringing your llama with you when you move in, check that it’s allowed under the terms of your tenancy agreement, and tell your landlord!

The following are some basic things that tenants should do:

-       Assess the terms of your AST in relation to keeping exotic pets

-       Ensure that the property has proper space for the animals; shared garden space is not appropriate to exercise a puma, for example

-       Always make sure that your deposit is protected as you will almost certainly have to pay a higher than usual amount

And landlords should:

-       Make sure you have previous landlord references for your tenants

-       Check that your tenant holds a valid license for the animal

-       Include specific clauses in tenancy agreements that cover exotic pets

-       Meet the tenant and their exotic pet(s) prior to the start of the tenancy

-       Confirm that someone will be willing to look after the pet(s) in case of emergency and insist on a name, address and contact details for this person. It’s advisable to meet them prior to signing the tenant up in order to satisfy yourself that they’re willing to do this; ideally you should also request written confirmation

We all know that even domestic animals can cause issues between landlords and tenants, so bear that in mind if you’re intending to buy a pet python!

Here’s the top five most kept unusual pets:

  1. Ostriches
  2. Monkeys
  3. Wild Boar
  4. Red fronted lemurs
  5. Crocodiles

Check out the full list of unusual pets on our website.