With my 16 year old having finished his GCSE’s what better way to celebrate than take him away with our beagle/ basset, Biscuit & Co Founder of Pets Lets, as well as a friend of my sons to experience a dog friendly holiday on the Isle of Wight.
Simple to get to from London and the ferry to Fishbourne from Portsmouth (insert Whitley ferries link) was easy. We even arrived early and drove straight on to a ferry. Before 8.30am we were on the Isle of Wight with all three asleep in the back of the car.
Holidaying with a dog can be more complicated when looking for place to stay. On Pets Lets we list pet friendly rentals from long & short lets to holiday lets and now dog friendly pub rooms. We work a lot with Michael Paul Holidays, who are so helpful and recommend and decided to use one of their resorts that we list on the Pets Lets portal. Biscuit needed to ‘sniff’ the place out.
When going on holiday with a dog or more than one dog, there are other things to consider. At your dog friendly place to stay, having that safe and secure bit of outside space makes such a difference in the morning and at night. Far more relaxing and stressful. Save the harness and leads for the main walks during the day.
At Pets Lets, we work with clients from all over the world looking to relocate with their pets. They are astounded by how difficult it is here in the UK to find pet friendly rentals.
In other counties if you want to rent with your dog, it is a simple process. Yet here in the UK, it is a ‘hotly debated topic’.
Landlords are keen to protect their investments and are concerned at the potential damage can do to their properties. It takes one irresponsible pet owner to have a knock-on effect with landlords and estate agents. Talking to property professionals, you hear about cats scratching carpets and dogs chewing furniture.
Yet 9 times out of 10, pet owners are far more responsible than tenants without pets, and you can argue that dogs and cats damage properties less than children. On the other hand, pet owners are equally as vocal about landlords and agents not listening to them and ‘flatly’ saying no to pets.
At Pets Lets we specialise in finding pet friendly rentals. We talk to landlords and agents as well as visit developments all the time. The topic of conversation is how landlords should be more open minded when renting to tenants with pets.
According to the is BBC News article, only 7% of landlords allow pets. It also refers to ‘renters being allowed to keep well-behaved pets’. In fact, nothing has changed. The law has suggested rather than enforced that landlords should consider pets.
The Pets Lets pet friendly property portal list properties that allow cats and dogs all the time. It is about landlords considering pets as dogs and cats vary in size and quantity. We come across pet owners all the time who are looking for rural unfurnished properties because they have more than four dogs, need the space and would prefer that their own furniture has ‘wear and tear’, rather than worrying about the landlords furniture. It is about giving landlords the ability to consider each case. Don’t say no to all pets. If the tenant has a small dog or a house cat then that is a different proposition to a pet owner with a number of pets.
People renting with pets do stay longer and do tend to be responsible as they appreciate the landlord allowing pets
More information about the properties mentioned in this blog is on Pets Lets a 100% pet friendly property portal where landlords consider pets.
The Best Pet Friendly Property Portals & Facebook Groups
Anyone coming to the UK and London with a pet, realises sooner or later, that finding rentals that allow pets is not easy. It is time consuming and a lot of landlords and estate agents say no to pets We are a pet loving nation, 50% of the population has a pet and lockdown witnessed a surge in people adopting pets, in particular puppies.
By 2025, it is estimated 40% of the UK population will be renting. In London alone that figure is set to increase to 60%. Currently 50% of the UK population has a pet. 30% of pet owners do not declare their pet(s) to their landlords. Hundreds of pets a year are returned to shelters because landlords say no. Refusing pet friendly accommodation has a negative effect on society.
In the UK, basically landlords are afraid of what they don’t know. A pet means damage to many and they hear horror stories. Unlike the other afore mentioned countries, a UK landlord cannot ask for a bigger deposit, add a request for pet insurance and a deep clean to be written into the tenancy agreement. Unlike their counterparts overseas, their hands are tied. Yet it is forecast that by 2025, 60% of the UK population will own a pet. With a younger ‘generation rent’, that is over half the available tenants. Something has to change. The recent suggestive approach by the UK government is not enough and it needs to be regulated.
Pets Lets is a London-based pet-friendly property portal with over 20 years of experience. They help pet owners find pet-friendly rentals and also offer a UK relocation service, as well as advice and tips for pet owners.
At Pets Lets, our network of UK relocation consultants are constantly speaking to agents and landlords across the country about pet friendly properties. We are so passionate about the subject of renting with pets in the UK that we have set up a Pets and Property Tips Facebook Group where we can offer professional advice.
Questionable Extra Fees for Tenants with pets
Otherwise known as pet rents, pet owners are finding themselves charged an extra rent per month for a pet, ranging from £20 – 50 per month. Finding pet friendly accommodation or landlords that will consider renting to people with pets can be tricky. Adding another fee on top is too much. It is merely a backlash because of the 2019 tenant Fees Act which made the landlord absorb some of the tenant’s costs. People renting with pets is an obvious way to recoup those costs.
We have even come across an Estate Agent trying to charge dog background checks
Summary of changes in UK legislation in renting with pets
As the Founder of Pets Lets, a Landlord, pet owner, a property search agent for over 20 years, I have a lot of experience dealing with landlords and agents.
I came across a person recently who has a dog and rents out a property. They agreed that is hard to find a property that allows pets, but as a landlord they would not allow people with pets. You would hope that a fellow dog owner would be a more sympathetic landlord.
We are so passionate about the subject of renting with pets in the UK that we have set up a Pets and Property Tips Facebook Group where we can offer pet owners struggling to find a pet friendly place, professional advice.
Why NOT to hide a Pet from your Landlord
Did you know that just under half the UK population owns a pet? It would not surprise me if that has now risen to 50% with the pre and post lockdown rush to adopt a pet. We all know friends or relatives who have a new puppy. In the US, 85 million families own a pet. A staggering statistic.
So, it is not uncommon for people to have a dog or cat. To many your pet is part of the family, it is like having a ‘child’ that you look after, who welcomes you home each time. Even if you have been gone for only 5 minutes. It’s comforting for everyone. You move into your home and settle in.
What’s missing; of course, a ‘four-legged’ friend. Always wanted a cat or dog. What will the landlord say? How will they find out? We never see them. They don’t drop by. What could possibly go wrong, it’s fine.
In a city where cafes, pubs, and even department stores have opened their doors to our four-legged friends, why are London’s landlords bucking the pet friendly trend?
To answer this question–and to shed light on how to find pet friendly apartments in London–I’ve invited Russell Hunt to share his expertise.
Russell is the Founder of Pets Lets, a 100% pet friendly London property portal with a relocation service and a hub of information about dogs in London. Pets Lets is a community where people with pets matter, and Russell is a staunch advocate for increasing the number of pet friendly landlords in the city.
At Pets Lets we ask landlords to consider pets. Look at it on a case by case basis. Property Owners can 'consider pets' without feeling obliged to let to people with a dog or a cat. You can stipulate a small dog or a cat or even allow more than one pet. It is totally up to you. The layout and size of the property will also be a factor. We suggest you meet the tenants with their dog(s) or cat(s). You will know very quickly whether it will work or not.
In the pet sector, we are all working hard to make it easier to live with your pets. It takes a while to convince agents and landlords that having a dog or cat in your property, will not cause excess damage or upset your neighbours. All it takes is one bad dog owner and that landlord will never rent again to someone with a pet. Worst still, if that landlords owns a big property portfolio and is well connected in the London residential sector, then the damage done by one irresponsible owner is far greater.
Moving with your pet is emotional. Your four legged friend is part of the family. To many another child. There is now way you would leave your dog or cat behind.
To a landlord, renting out their property is a business decision devoid of emotion. It is all about the tenant being able to pay the rent. If the tenants is hardly going to be there, then minimal wear and tear to the property is more appealing. To UK landlords, having a dog in the property means damaged furniture and neighbours being woken up during the night by barking.
It is an out of date mindset. People have parties, children draw on the walls and adults vape or smoke. Most dogs sleep, exercise outside and are well behaved. Like people there is the odd exception which gives pets as tenants a bad reputation which agents and landlords remember for a long time.
Under the 1988 Road Traffic act 1988, dogs are seen as property as are some other animals such as cows, sheep and horses. Unlike injuring or killing a person with your car, running over a cat or dog or a collision with an animal, does not have to be reported.
In 2020, when nearly half the UK population has a pet and when dogs and cats are seen as people’s children and part of the family, these acts really are from Medieval Times.
In the UK, it is not against the law for a landlord or letting agent to charge an extra ‘pet rent’. In addition to you paying for your own rent, your four-legged ‘furry friend’, which is part of the family, is charged an additional rent. With some pet friendly rentals, it is not unusual to pay an extra £20-50 per month. Naturally that comes out of the pocket of people who own pets.
The 2019 Tenants Fees Act has had a negative impact on dog and cat friendly rentals in London and across UK Cities. How can you say no to dogs who wants to be part of the family. They cannot be left behind. Only 10% of London landlords offer dog friendly rentals.
London is viewed by many as a welcoming Capital for people with pets. People come from all over the world with their dogs and cats to work as well as attend University or a College. London really is a top pet-friendly relocation destination.
Research has shown that owning a pet can decrease stress, improve mood and boost opportunities to socialise. Whether to are travelling on the underground, shopping or walking in the parks and commons, if you have a dog, people will come up and talk to you. It opens up a whole new London pet friendly world.
London is a hub of pet activity. It is hard to walk in any part of London without seeing people walk their dogs. We are a pet loving nation and pets are like family and make people happy. More and more ‘boutique’ pet shops and groomers are opening across the Capital.
Britain is a nation of dog lovers. In a large Capital City like London, it’s not uncommon to see all kinds of dogs from French Bulldogs, to Cockapoo’s to Labradors to Dachshunds to Beagles running around in the parks and commons with their four-legged friends. You also see dog owners talking to each other. A great social life for all. And yet, renting in London with a dog or even a cat is difficult.