According to a Pets Mag Survey carried out in 2020, commissioned by Channel 5 in conjunction with the adaptation of ‘All Creature Great & Small’, 51% of those surveyed named the dog as their favourite with 38% preferring cats.
The UK is indeed a dog and cat loving nation. The love of dogs originated from Victorian times as they were seen as loyal, gave people status as well as an emotional attachment.
Now over 20m dogs and cats have a loving place in our homes. Circa 1 in 2 UK households have a pet. That is a staggering statistic; yet in London only 15% of Landlords are pet friendly. The Capital is filled with blocks which have antiquated no pets clauses. Renting with dogs in London in many areas, particularly in Zone 1, can be problematic.
Moving to London with a dog or cat can be tricky. Yes, some landlords will consider pets. However, some are specific about what kind of pet and how many. Some London landlords will consider a small dog, others just a cat. The bigger the dog with some landlords, the less likely they are to say yes. If you have competition for a property and they do not have a pet, the chances are the landlord will avoid the hassle of a dog or cat.
UK property is complicated. London property is more so with complicated leaseholds dating back to Victorian times. For example, you can own a flat, be happy to allow tenants with dogs or cats, and yet you are not allowed to by the Freeholder, which is the person or company that owns the building. You have no say, even though it is your flat.
Andrew Rosindell MP, has brought a bill into Parliament called Jasmine’s Law to end pet discrimination in rental properties. It strives to have a pet in every home. A balanced outlook to appease UK landlords. Pet owners would be required to have a check list such as vaccines and references from past landlords. Tenants with pets would have more rights and not being prevented by unjust no pets clauses. The bill has passed the first reading with the second reading in January 2021. Fingers crossed.
A change to the law is needed. We are a pet loving nation. The UK has continued to see a rise of dogs in our households. To many they have become our children and are part of the family.
Yes, finding a good flat in the right location for you and your four-legged friend, might be slightly more of a challenge, yet with help from us at Pets Lets
Here are Simple Pet-Friendly Guidelines to follow:
Be Honest from the Beginning
Getting a dog is just like preparing to have a family. You need to research into what breed, size, behavioural patters as well as will it work where you live. If you are thinking about getting a dog or cat, best to run it by the landlord before signing the rental agreement. Some landlord may well say yes to a pet friendly rental, rather than lose you as a tenant. They may well ask what kind of breed. A tip here is that some landlords have issues with bigger dogs and damage. In particular with a London property and a dog where space can be limited.
In Zone 1 you will pay a higher amount renting with a dog
As mentioned earlier, a lot of the more affordable properties in Central London are purpose-built with many flats/ apartments. They are owned by corporate companies that have their own rules and regulations, many of which do not allow pets. Some are slowly adapting and allowing people to rent with their dogs in London. You many want to consider zones 2 and 3. At Pets Lets, we have a wealth of experience when it comes to London property. Check out our Relocation Service and Viewings Service which can help you through all of this.
Make a Pet CV
Landlords nowadays, and the agents who represent them, have to make sure the paperwork is in order, including vaccinations and a reference from a previous landlord or professional such as you Vet. Renting to people with pets in London must be clear without any miscommunication. Even down to highlighting the name and breed of your dog. It is that specific and you need permission to have another pet. From the landlords perspective it stops people having lots of pets as it is contrary to the rental agreement. You can ask though.
Here is a list of things to be included when renting with pets:
- A photo (make sure your dog or cat is looking adoringly at the camera) as well as a reference from a previous landlord or vet.
- Information about the age of your dog(s) or cat(s), breeds, vaccinations.
- Training awards, courses attended by your dog will help get a positive outcome from the landlord to allow your dog.
- Also, if you need more information about CV’s and references, have a look at The Dogs Trust Lets with Pets Scheme. Well worth reading and having a look at the website in general.
Pet Friendly Landlord Tips
- Only throw money/ more rent at the issue if you really love the property. Otherwise move on and find another property.
- Offer to deep clean the property at the end of the tenancy and put it in writing.
- Offer regular landlord visits if that puts their minds at rest.
- Offer to meet the landlord with your dog in advance of signing the rental agreement.
- A glowing landlord reference is ‘gold dust.’
Read your tenancy agreement thoroughly
Everything in writing, nothing verbally - The old phrase of ‘my word is my bond’ no longer counts for anything. Make sure there is a pets clause in the rental agreement, specifying your dog or cat by name and breed. Do not sign without it.
Good to have a break clause in place, after 6 months or 1 year in case the property does not work out for you or your dog for example. It works both ways and the landlord can give you notice.
Don’t be scared to ask for special conditions; such as the removal or adding or furniture, making sure the garden is safe for your dog etc. Don’t feel grateful because the landlord allows your pet. It again works both ways, he or she has a reliable rent paying tenant, who as a dog owner will be more likely to look after the property.
London is a great City to explore with your dog.
Apart from renting with a dog, which is improving, London is a dog friendly City with commons and parks for dogs and their owners. Great places for you and your dogs to make new friends. The amount of dog friendly parks, pubs, restaurants, shops and department stores is unheard of for a Capital city.
Get professionals on your side
Relocating with your dog or cat is stressful. If from overseas, arranging the travel documentation and flights, can alone be too much. All you want to know is that your pet has arrived safely.
No need to do this alone. At Pets Lets, we are all about London pets & property. Our Founder, Russell Hunt, has over 20 years’ experience alone in London property advising clients, has a dog himself and grew up inheriting three dogs from people whose landlords said no.
We understand it and we are here to help dog and cat owners moving to London. Feel free to email Russell on firstname.lastname@example.org.