A trade body is advising landlords and agents acting on their behalf to take precautions to protect their investments if they agree that tenants can keep pets.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, the UK's largest organisation for independent inventory clerks, says the trend towards longer tenancies inevitably means more renters will want pets.
"It's clear that the number of long-term lifestyle renters is rising. And this means that more tenants will want to keep pets and therefore be on the lookout for a property which they can truly call home for a prolonged period" says AIIC chair Danny Zane.
"It therefore comes as no surprise if more landlords decide to let to tenants with pets as it will widen their pool of prospective renters in an increasingly competitive market," adds Zane, who is also managing director of My Property Inventories.
However, the association is warning that landlords and agents advising them should take out more comprehensive insurance, increasing the property's damage deposit and ensuring that an independent and professionally compiled inventory is carried out.
"Furry friends can undoubtedly cause more damage to a property, not to mention additional odours and mess," says Zane.
"Therefore, more comprehensive landlord insurance can provide the required cover and peace of mind should an incident occur at the property, while a higher deposit will help to ensure that tenants are committed to maintaining the property."
He adds, however, that landlords will need to be wary of charging higher deposits as from next spring, it is likely that damage deposits will be capped at a maximum of six weeks' rent.
"Independent inventories, which detail a property’s condition at the start and end of a rental contract, provide landlords and agents with peace of mind and protect tenants from unreasonable deductions at the end of a tenancy."
Over the last year, the AIIC has been campaigning for the government to consider compulsory independent inventory reporting in privately rented properties.