A recent study shows that destructive pets cause more than £600 damage to their owners’ property during their lifetime, with cleaning and repair bills adding to the massive bill. Researchers also found almost half of the nation’s 30 million pet owners have been left with a bill of around £658 to replace or repair parts of their home destroyed by their beloved pet.
The study of 2,000 pet owners found 47% have had to clean up the mess left by pets at some point, with the cost of replacing broken or ruined furniture averaging £258. Fixing and repairing items accounts for another £177 while cleaning, including hiring professionals, costs more than £167. Carpets are the most common victim with 63% saying their pets have scratched or chewed the flooring.
It is not just home owners who suffer according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks. It claims that landlords are at risk of costly damage to property caused by pets such as chewed doors, frames and furniture; soiled and pulled carpets and rugs; scratched surfaces; and damage to lawns, plants and gardens. ‘Many tenants will work hard to hide any signs of pets in advance of a visit from a landlord or agent. They are often well aware they are breaking the terms of the tenancy agreement,’ said Pat Barber, chair of the AIIC.
‘I have seen all kinds of pet damage over the years, some amounting to very expensive repairs. More recently, we have seen a trend of outside pets becoming inside pets, especially rabbits. They can create expensive damage to cables, doors and frames and furniture from chewing,’ she revealed.
‘Cats seem to cause the most problem in a property because they love sharpening their claws on every surface. A recent check out concerned a flat with leather sofas, there were deep claw marks and pulls all around the base of both sofas, the back seams had been ripped open and cat hairs were matted under the seat cushions,’ she explained.
Quote from PropertyCommunity.com : “New to being a landlord. My wife and I just purchased three duplexes in the state of Missouri for investments. All units were occupied when purchased with leases. Upon taking possession, one renter, who had only been there one month under old management, decided that she could not live without her dog.”
The furniture was damaged well beyond repair and the tenant did not have permission to have a cat or any other pet in the flat. The result was that the tenant had to pay for two new sofas as they were both almost new at the start of the tenancy just six months previously. My advice to landlords and agents is to be vigilant about checking the inside and outside of properties for pet damage,’ she added.
The organisation advises landlords to make regular visits to the property to check the property over for damage on both the inside and the outside including checking under the sofa cushions as tenants often forget to vacuum here, linings of curtains, pelmets, and curtain tops. It says to check under mats, tables and beds for pet stains; to check furniture, doors and frames, kitchen cupboards etc for claw scratches. It is also advised that you look out for thread pulls and fluffing on carpets and rugs, especially in doorways. Other tell tale signs include damage from chewing, a favourite of pet rabbits and patches on the lawn as yellowing of the grass is often the sign of a cat or dog.