This landlord charges you £75 per month in 'pet rent'
This landlord charges you £75 per month in ‘pet rent’ (picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The rental property market is a wild place, to say the least.

And in the latest instalment of ‘can the landlord actually do that?’, one woman stumbled across a rental listing charging £75 per month in ‘pet rent’.

The two-bed, two bath flat is situated in London’s Stepney Green, near Whitechapel and Bank. Professional landlord Fizzy Living is offering the property for a deposit of £2,300 and £2,180 per calendar month rent.

This means if you have a pet it’ll take your monthly total to £2,255. As if pets aren’t already expensive enough.

X (formerly Twitter) user Hannah Louise wrote: ‘Sometimes I think there is nothing a landlord could do that I would find shocking anymore and then they hit you with PET RENT.’

One person jokingly responded: ‘How is your pet meant to pay rent? Do they have a job?’

Another wrote: ‘PET RENT?!?!? I am aghast,’ while another said: ‘How much for a tamagotchi?’

Fellow renters on the platform shared their experiences of being charged for pets in their rental properties.

Hannah shared a screen shot from one person, who messaged her to say their building was charging £25 for hamsters.

Another wrote: ‘We pay £50 a month for our dog,’ while another said: ‘Mines £15 extra a month which I don’t massively mind, but I wish we didn’t have to.’

Someone else shared that they had to pay an extra £500 deposit so their landlord would allow their cat to live in the property, while another had to pay £200 and has to get the property professionally flea sprayed if they move out.

Clearly people are forking out the money. Research from Zoopla showed that a rental property being ‘pet friendly’ made it much more desirable but as of 2021 just 7% of landlords advertised their homes as being suitable for pets.

Properties are more desirable if they're pet friendly
Properties are more desirable if they’re pet friendly (picture: Getty Images)

Of the 1,261 landlords surveyed by SpareRoom back in 2018, 69% said they don’t allow pets in their properties because they’re worried about the smell or damage a pet might cause.

But, the same study found 88% of pet owners have never had any complaints and that their pets have never caused damage to a property.

The landlord for this two bed, two bath, Fizzy Living, states: ‘We love pets! Fizzy is London’s most pet-friendly landlord (thanks TimeOut London!) and we welcome pets at all Fizzy buildings.’

However, its £75 per month ‘pet rent’ is in place across every single one of its properties, which it claims ‘contributes to the additional cleaning and maintenance required’.

This only applies to pets like cats and dogs, not hamsters or fish that are contained.

But can landlords actually charge you for having pets in the property?

The short answer is yes, but not excessively.

Fizzy Living charges 'pet rent' in all its flats
Fizzy Living charges ‘pet rent’ in all its flats (picture: Getty Images)

According to the House of Commons Library, in its explanation of the rules on pet ownership in rented properties, ‘Landlords cannot charge a fee for agreeing to a request to keep a pet and cannot ask for a higher deposit if this would breach the deposit cap requirements in the Tenant Fees Act 2019’.

When it comes to private landlords ‘the default position is for landlords not to unreasonably withhold consent where a tenant asks for permission to keep a pet’, but renters must seek permission.

Landlords have to be reasonable and should agree to this if they believe the tenant to be ‘a responsible pet owner and the pet is of a kind that is suitable in relation to the nature of the premises at which it will be kept’.

Kitchen and living room open plan.
The pet rent contributes to the additional cleaning and maintenance required (picture: Getty Images)

‘Clause C3.5 prohibits a landlord from exercising a blanket ban on pets. A responsible pet owner will be aware of their responsibilities in making best efforts to ensure their pet does not cause a nuisance to neighbouring households or undue damage to the Property,’ according to the House of Commons Library.

Reasons landlords can say no to requests are not wanting large pets in small properties and also if they deem it impractical.

‘If consent is given on the condition that additional deposit is paid by the tenant, the total deposit must not breach the deposit cap introduced under the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and must be protected in an authorised tenancy deposit scheme.’

Tenant Fees Act 2019:

From 1 June 2019, the only payments that landlords or letting agents can charge to tenants in relation to new contracts are:

  • Rent
  • A refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than 5 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is less than £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
  • A refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than 1 week’s rent
  • Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
  • Payments capped at £50 (or reasonably incurred costs, if higher) for the variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy
  • Payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and Council Tax
  • A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement


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