30.06.2020 04:40 pm

Be ahead of other Landlords. Open your doors to people with pets. Nearly 50% of the UK are pet owners and only 10% of London Landlords allow dogs. A Huge Opportunity as dog and cat owners stay longer and are responsible.

The Tenant Fees Act brought in 1st June 2019, has had the reverse effect of people renting with dogs and cats. The Tenant Fees Act is supposed to reduce the charges that tenants in England can face from Landlords at the start of the rental process. It is also designed to restrict Landlords charging excessive amounts for repairs and damage. This article from the Evening Standard’s Homes and Property section highlights the key facts.

A great idea in theory. Protect tenants and Landlords cover the fees. In reality, what has happened is that Landlords have looked to increase rents to compensate for their losses. Some Landlords have looked to charge extra ‘pet rents’ to people letting with pets.

Security Deposits Capped to 5 Weeks

  • Great for tenants in general and helps with cash flow
  • Tenants can budget as there is a limit
  • Weeds out non-professional Landlords
  • Landlords more accountable
  • Give tenants more rights

Not Pawsome for dog friendly rentals

  • Landlords feel 5 weeks deposit is not enough to cover damage by a dog
  • Because of this new act, Landlords are fussier about what kind of dog will live in their property. The size of dog in a dog friendly London rental matters.
  • It is easier if you have a small dog to find somewhere to rent that will allow a dog.
  • More difficult post this act if you have a larger breed dog or more than one dog.
  • Some Landords will only accept a cat and not rent to someone with a dog full stop.
  • If you are competing with people without a pet, the chances are you will lose out. A dog or cat friendly rental is seen as too much hassle.

    How the Tenants Fee Act has changed the pet friendly rental landscape

  • It has led to the rise of the ‘designer handbag’ dog. Easy to have at home and more likely to convince a landlord to say yes to pets.
  • People who have grown up with say a Labrador, are having to change their breed of dog to accommodate Landlords.
  • Tenants with pets are being dictated to by Landlords.
  • This is backed up by The RSPCA who over the last 7 years has seen a 700% rise in Chihuahaus, a rise of 600% by Dachshunds and Pomeraninas up by 440%. What do these breeds have in Common, size. Another popular city dog breed is the French Bull Dog.

    Why does London have a real issue with dog-friendly rentals?

  • A lot of mansion blocks in London have non-pets’ clauses. Some Concierges turn a ‘blind eye’ to people, with pets. However, you would not be able to get a pets clauses inserted into any contract, so there would be no security and you could be evicted.
  • A lot of overseas investors who have buy to let properties, do not like pets. Even though they do not live there, dogs and cats are seen as creating a mess and not allowed.
  • Some Landlords are worried about others complaining, so it is easier not to allow pets.
  • More than one dog or pet becomes a bigger issue.

Are there any dog and cat friendly property tips?

  • Have a Pet CV to hand with a cute picture.
  • Have a reference from a past or current Landlord to say how well behaved your dog was and there no issues.
  • Say you will deep clean the property when you leave to make sure there is no odour or sign of dog hairs.
  • Landlords like tenants who stay longer. You are more likely to get the property, if you can rent with your dog for more than 1 year.

    Why should Landlords consider a dog friendly rental in London or any City?

  • Tenants with pets are more responsible. Dogs, for the majority, are well trained.
  • Nearly 50% of the UK population has a pet. With only 10% of London Landlords allowing a dog or cat, why miss out on a huge pool of potential tennats?
  • Pet owners stay longer, so less void periods.
  • People with hairy dogs are mindful of this and make sure they regularly clear up after their dogs.
  • Research has shown that people living with pets are generally happier and more likely to look after the property.
  • Who is more likely to cause less damage, students or pet owners?
  • Children with crayons and paints, adults vapes, cigarettes and throwing parties cause damage. Why are dog owners in rentals singled out to be the biggest offenders?

Note to Landlords

Check with any sub lease for any pet restrictions before renting to letting to people with pets.

Russell Hunt is Founder of Pets Lets, www.petslets.com, a 100% pet friendly London property portal with a relocation service and a hub of information about dogs in London. Pets Lets is a community where people with pets matter.