At Pets Lets we are all about promoting people living with pets in London. We list and find pet friendly London properties, offer advice pets clauses, pet friendly London locations as well as the Pets Lets Information Hub, a means of ‘accessing the social life of a London dog’.
As relocation agents, we spend lots of time talking to London estate agents, landlords, developers, freeholders. It takes time to build a good reputation and takes minutes to undo all that good work.
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.
A recent example of neighbours rightly complaining
We had a recent example of a lovely tenant with a dog. However, that tenant just left dog poo sprawled across the patio and a pile of bagged up poo just grew by the back door. A neighbour complained to the landlord and took photographic evidence. They could not let their kids play on the terrace because of it. We have sorted it all out. However, whether that landlord will re-let to people with pets is another matter. With only 15% of London landlords being pet-friendly, losing any, makes not only makes pet relocation that bit more difficult, but it also gives other pet owners a bad reputation.
A poll whether agent and landlords should encourage pets
In Letting Agent Today, a poll was conducted as to whether more agents and landlords should encourage tenants with pets. The result was a staggering 63% against versus 37% for.
What points came out of the poll
- With the capped deposit to 5 weeks rent, many agents and landlords feels there needs to be a separate bond for pets.
- Landlords should be allowed to inspect their properties on a regular basis if they are concerned about allowing dogs.
- Why should landlords foot the bill if a dog damages a property and they have only 5 weeks deposit to cover it.
- Children can cause as much damage as pets.
- Landlords should decide whether to allow pets on a case by case basis.
- Considering a quarter of the UK population has a dog, that is quite a huge number percentage of landlords who are against, despite the large number of potential tenants and income they are ignoring by saying no to renting with pets.
The Government help to end pet bans is all very well and good, but if a landlord has had a bad experience with dogs, then they cannot be forced to let to people with pets. Just like some landlords will refuse to let to students because they have had a bad reputation in the past.
For many landlords, their rental properties are their pensions or regular income. They would prefer to have responsible tenants with pets or without, who stay for a long time, look after the property and pay the rent on time.
It is all very well and good trying to change the law, but if people keep complaining about badly behaved dogs, which is mainly attributable to the dog owner, then it becomes increasingly more difficult for any Government to enforce it let alone make it law.
Russell is the Founder of Pets Lets, a 100% pet friendly London property portal with a relocation & viewing service and a hub of information about dogs in London. Pets Lets is a community where people with pets matter. Russell is a staunch advocate for increasing the number of pet friendly landlords in the city.