05.06.2020 12:26 pm

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.

Only 10% of London Landlords offer pet-friendly rentals. Freeholders, block managers and some agents are still reluctant to let to tenants with pets.

Covid 19 and months of lost rent may well change the attitude of Landlords to making their properties pet-friendly. In London across the zones, there is a shortage of pet-friendly rentals. If you see a place you like, even if it does not say they will allow pets, find out if they will consider a cat or dog. Have a Pet CV prepared. Show that your dog is well behaved. Have good references from either previous Landlords or a pet professional such as a Vet or Groomer. Be prepared. The Landlord may well say yes to a dog as they need the revenue. At the moment, there are more properties on the market than tenants looking. Time to make London a pet-friendly capital.

DO NOT RULE OUT ZONE 1 WHEN SEARCHING FOR A PET FRIENDLY RENTAL IN LONDON

Times are changing. We just relocated a client with their French Bulldog into a mews flat in the heart of Marylebone. Quietly tucked away and less than a 5-minute walk from Regents Park. More blocks realise the demand for pets and some large freeholders in some instances will consider letting to people with pets. If it helps to live in Central London with work, then there are ‘pockets’ that can work.

Zones 2 and 3 significantly increases your chances of finding a quality, dog-friendly flat. There are more properties that allow cats and dogs with gardens. Even so, it is still not easy as some Landlords prefer not to allow pets and if you are up against another tenant who does not have a pet, you will most likely lose out. We know and have had that experience.

PETS LETS IS A NEW PET FRIENDLY LONDON PROPERTY PLATFORM WITH A RELOCATION SERVICE FOR MOVING TO LONDON WITH A DOG AND A CAT ALWAYS BE UPFRONT ABOUT RENTING IN LONDON WITH A DOG

Even if you don’t have a dog but are planning to get one, you need to say so! Don’t lie about owning a dog, be honest from the beginning! If you’re caught, one of two things will happen. Either you’ll be served an eviction notice, which will ruin your chances of finding decent accommodation in the future, or you’ll be allowed to stay if you immediately get rid of your dog. 35% of dog owners in London find themselves in this predicament. At Pets Lets we receive emails all the time asking for advice.

WHEN COMPETITION IS HIGH, OFFER A SLIGHTLY HIGHER MONTHLY RENT IF NEEDED AND OFFER TO DEEP CLEAN AT THE END OF THE TENANCY

It really does depend on the Landord. More money is not always the solution. Sometimes it is about timing. You may have competition without a pet, but if you can move in earlier and offer a longer tenancy agreement with a deep clean, that could secure the property for you. During quiet times of the year, Landlords are more open-minded. It is close to Christmas, lots of office parties and the market is quiet. How tempting is it to accept a tenant with a pet just before everything closes to mid-January. Timing can be key.

DO NOT SIGN A TENANCY AGREEMENT UNLESS IT INCLUDES A PET CLAUSE

Under no circumstances should you sign a tenancy agreement that doesn’t have a pet’s clause that relates to your pet. Do not accept a verbal assurance that your dog is allowed. Everything must be in writing. In some London blocks, the Concierge loves dogs and ignores it. If that Concierge leaves, your position, renting with a pet, could quickly change. Have a look at Dogs Trust’s website Lets with Pets for more advice.

DOG-FRIENDLY PLACES MAKE LIVING IN LONDON WITH A DOG FUN FOR EVERYONE

It seems overwhelming now but renting in London with a dog is totally worth it. London has lots of cafes, restaurants, pubs and dog-friendly stores. To find out more about the London dog social life have a look at The Dogvine, The Londog and Paaw House. The city is filled with green spaces that allow off-lead playtime. Dogs are even allowed on the trains and tube provided you avoid the escalator!

London is full of dog lovers. Once you have found your pet friendly accommodation, there is a Capital full of things going on. If you are walking a dog, people will talk to you. Living overseas, moving to the UK with a pet is daunting. If you need help, a pet relocation agency may be your best option. Feel free to contact us at Pets Lets on hello@petslets.com

Russell Hunt is the Founder of Pets Lets, a London pet-friendly property portal with a relocation service. Prior to founding Pets Lets, Russell was a London search agent for over 20 years and has a beagle/basset. We know London pets & property.