Exactly what is living next door to you?

The results revealed a menagerie of unusual creatures – Asian Leopard Cats, Red- Fronted Lemurs, Bison, Caiman, a Lynx, Wild Boar and Alligators – across some of

Britain’s sleepiest districts.

Kevin Firth, Director of The DPS, said: “I think the majority of Britons would be amazed to learn about the sheer variety of unusual animals living next door to them.

“While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does go to show that you never know what may be living next door. New tenants should thoroughly research any potential new property. Always ask for as much information from a 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 inform the landlord.”

Under the Dangerous and Wild Animals Act 1976, owners are required to hold a license for certain types of pets.

This is to ensure that when private individuals keep potentially dangerous, wild animals they do so in circumstances which do not create risks to the public and safeguard the welfare of the animals.

It is important for landlords to be aware that if a tenant does not hold a license for their exotic pet, the animal could have been smuggled into the UK.

The DPS advises tenants to:

– 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 the advice to landlords is:

– Make sure you have previous landlord references for your tenants

– 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

Mr Firth said: “We know from experience that even domestic animals can cause issues between landlord and tenant, so bear that in mind if you intend to buy a pet python!”

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