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.
Pets work ‘miracles’ in transforming people lives, particularly those who are lonely and feel isolated. Mental health has been a key issue with people of all ages over the covid lockdown periods. Research has shown that pets benefit people with mental health issues. Stroking a dog or cat has shown to reduce people’s blood pressure, calms people down during stressful times.
Pets save the NHS circa £2.5 billion per annum due the positive side effects of living with pets.
Research by the All Parliamentary Party Group on Cats gives a break down on findings in their Report all about tackling loneliness. 10.9 million people in the UK have cats alone, that is a huge figure.
What don’t landlords understand about renting to tenants with pets
At Pets Lets we talk to landlords and agent all the time, as we specialise in pet friendly property relocation. These points are based on our own findings and not off the back of another company’s research.
- Sometimes with a pet, you won’t get a viewing. A landlord may re-consider if the property has been vacant for a while or they may try to charge an extra pet rent.
- A lot of landlords just hear or see the word pet associated with a tenant offer and the immediate response is no or wait for another without a pet.
- Some landlords have had bad experiences with tenants in the past or have heard horror stories.
- Like with any rental offer, you need to break it down. You don’t question the number of children or say, no more than 2 children in this property. When renting to people with pets, you need to ask more in-depth questions as well as ask for references:
- How many pets? What breeds? How old are they? A lot of older dogs, for example, sleep most of the day, they are not going to damage the property.
- Landlords don’t understand that 50% of the UK owns a pet. Millennials and younger generations see pets as their children and need pet friendly accommodation.
- If you don’t consider pet friendly rentals, you will lose out on a big pool of tenants.
- By not allowing pets, Landlords are ‘in a sense’ forcing tenants to not tell them, if at a later date they adopt a pet for the family.
Hypothetical Tennant Case StudyAs a landlord you have rented out a house to a couple for over 3 years. Over that time, they have become a family with children. They have looked after the property and not caused any damage. Rent has been paid on time and they have not complained about anything. Ideal tenants. Then over the Covid lockdown, they did decide to get a puppy like many people across the country. Oblivious to the issues of renting with dogs and that it is not allowed. To them it is all about the family. One day during an inspection you notice the puppy. Do you threaten them with eviction, ignore it bearing in mind you don’t want to lose them as tenants or find an alternative solution?
‘A dog is for life’ mirrors ‘good tenants are hard to find’. Reach a compromise.
A Battersea Dogs & Cats Home report comes up with some interesting findings about renting with pets in the UK.
The findings include the following:
- 10% of dogs given to Battersea Dogs & Cats home are because their landlords did now allow pets.
- According to the National Landlords Association, 55% of landlords do not allow their tenants to keep pets.
- Pet owners are 60% more likely to get involved in the local community nd get to know their neighbours.
- Pet owners make 15% fewer visits to the doctors.
- Some £4m households are deterred by landlord policies from getting a pet.
- In France ‘no pets’ clauses have been banned since 1970.
- In Belgium, Germany and the USA, blanket pet bans are viewed a violation of human rights. Pet Friendly Rentals Summary The UK is far behind other countries when enforcing a legal requirement when it comes to renting with pets. Th recent Model Tenancy Agreement suggestion for landlords when renting to people with pets, is a lame ‘excuse’ to appease both pet owners and landlords. It achieves nothing and has merely confused pet owning tenants who have been looking for help from the Government. You would think that with lockdown and the positive effects pets have on mental health, the Government could have done more. The 2019 Tenant Fees Act has ‘dug a deeper hole’ with 5 week deposit cap. Officials should look across the channel for ideas where people can happily rent with their pets.
Pets Lets is a UK pet-friendly property portal offering properties where landlords consider pets. We represent clients with our pet friendly Relocation Service.
Finding a rental that allows pets is stressful enough in the UK. We help pet owners find pet-friendly rentals and also offer a UK relocation service, as well as advice and tips for pet owners.**
We are so passionate about pet friendly rentals that we have set up a Pets and Property Tips Facebook Group for helpful professional advice on pets and property.