Dog Friendly London

06.05.2022 11:40 am

London is generally a dog friendly city to live in. We have The Royal Parks, including Hyde Park, Regents Park & Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park, Bushy Park and Richmond Park. Few other major cities in the world have such open as well as central ‘green spaces’ for dogs to roam.

The Dogvine and The Londog are great websites to give dog owners an insight into the London dog world. Where you can go, meet other fellow dog owners, have a meal or shop with your dog as well as events going on in and out of the capital. Knowing where dogs are allowed in London is important. A tip is to look out for a dog bowl outside a shop.

Dog Furiendly is also a good source of dog friendly information in London as well as across the UK. Some of the large department stores are dog friendly such as Liberty’s on London’s Regent Street and The John Lewis Group as well as others including Selfridges, where you have to carry your dog. A little tricky if they are a heavier breed.

You can even find A Dog Cafe on London’s Kings Road. Of course, being a dog friendly cafe they have a dedicated menu of freshly prepared dishes for your dogs from beef Wellington to beef bone marrow broths. Humans also have their own separate menu. A friend of mine had a business meeting by chance, without dogs, and was impressed, by the dog menu and the overall experience.

Love My Human is also a modern pet boutique and luxury groomer. All about pet care, both grooming and having a sophisticated time out with your owner and friends. The website Wagit is also a great website for finding out more about where you can eat and drink with your dog in London, such as pubs, bars and cafes. A directory of great places to eat as well as a site where you can find London dog groomers. Always double-check dog friendly eateries as some will only let you sit outside with inside still saying no to dogs.

Change takes time. The same is true for dog friendly London. Great news this week is there is now Uber Pets. There is also the Addison Lee pet friendly taxi service. You need to be able to travel with your dog or cat. There is so much uncertainty with some Uber drivers saying yes and others no. You would not be 100% sure you could travel with your dog until you driver arrived. There is of course an extra charge.

The London Underground is dog friendly, actually one of the most dog friendly transport systems in the world. London busses are happy for you to ‘jump’ on and off with a dog too. Dog friendly London has a pawsome transport system.

At least there are more options with pet friendly transport. Renting a property with a dog or cat is still an issue in London. Many landlords are still against renting to responsible pet owners. With demand for rental properties in London still high, many landlords opt for people without pets. Also bear in mind, that with the lack of rental properties, some landlords are not renewing contracts and are opting to re-market the properties. Buying a pet friendly property with a dog or cat, can be equally difficult. More information below.

London has antiquated property rules and regulations that are sadly not pet friendly. At Pets Lets, we come across people who have lost out on a dog friendly property, because the landlord or agent did not realise that the building main ‘head lease’ does not allow cats and dogs. Some concierges are happy to allow people to rent with their dog or cat in London. However, that is sometimes not legally enforced. You would not be able to have a pet’s clause in your rental agreement and could risk eviction.

dog friendly London property slow to change

Why is London so slow to change to renting to people with dogs? Good question. Having worked in London property for over 25 years, some of it is about a ‘cannot be bothered’ attitude by block owners, management companies, landlords and some estate agents. Renting to someone with a dog is more ‘hassle’. Others will complain about dogs living in their building, allergies, disturbances, noise late at night and the biggest concern landlords have is damage.

One can argue that children can create far more damage to a property. Everything from mud on the carpets, handprints on the wall and so on. You don’t ask for a child school reference like you do with a pet.

For a management company to allow pets into a London building, means a lot of work, big change and of course there will be people against it. However, with 50% of the UK population owning a pet, some landlords with Central London portfolios are starting to say yes to pets.

With London landlords, it is more of a case of landlords considering tenants with pets on a case-by-case basis. It depends on the size, layout of the property, number of as well as size of pets. You cannot rent to a person with a Great Dane in small flat. Some landlords prefer cats, in particular house cats. Others a small dog only. Have a Pet CV with cute image ready to send over. Visit Pets Lets, have a look under the Relocation Services for some examples of Pet CV’s and landlord references..

Buying or renting a property with a dog or cat

In London people just thing about renting with pets as an issue, which it is. It is competitive and you need to be prepared and be able to move quickly. Equally buying with a dog or cat can be problematic. Why should buying with a pet be a problem, I own the property. Well, yes you do; however, if the property is not a freehold, you do not 100% and still have rules and regulations on your property. Always check before you commit to buying a London property that you are allowed a pet. Beware of non-pet friendly no pet’s clauses in the ‘head lease’.

Even with a share of freehold, you can be prevented by a committee member from moving in with your dog or cat. Make sue you know where you stand on a property being pet friendly before you commit costs such as solicitors, mortgage fees as well as your own time. For advice on this feel free to visit the Pets Lets Relocation Service link which includes information on our buying pet friendly property services.

This article was written by Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets, a UK pet-friendly property portal offering properties where landlords consider pets as well as a pet friendly relocation and buying service.

For useful advice or to find out more about the UK pet friendly rental market, feel free to join our Pets and Property Tips Facebook Group for helpful professional advice on pets and property.