05.01.2021 02:12 pm

Travelling & Renting with your Pet(s) to and from the UK within the EU

As we now know the old UK-issued EU pet passport will be invalid for travel into the EU from 1st January.

This is being replaced with the Animal Health Certificate (AHC) which needs to be issued within 10 days before each entry into the EU and lasts for 4 months whilst you are there. If you take several trips with your pets you will need a new AHC each time. Also you are not allowed into the UK with more than 5 pets unless they are for a show, competition or sporting event.

Based on the assumption that the pet has the necessary valid rabies inoculations, be wary of the fact that the cost of the Animal Health Certificate (AHC) can vary considerably, with vet quotes varying from £70, £100, £120 to £184 and even over £230.

The Brexit transition, like anything new, brings with it a lot of uncertainty. There are stories of British people in the press who are resident in Spain and yet are being denied a return back to Spain despite agreement between the mutual governments. Here paperwork and ‘red tape’ has created a barrier. The same applies to traveling with pets. Make sure you look at the UK Government Website, as this is the best form of advice and is official.

A Summary of Requirements Traveling to the EU with your Pet

The AHC confirms that your dog is microchipped, and that your dog has an up-to-date rabies vaccination. Your vet is also required to record other treatments on the AHC relating to international travel e.g. tapeworm treatments for some countries. The Animal Health Certificate (AHC): • Is valid for 10 days for entry into the EU and Northern Ireland from the date of issue • Allows onward travel within the EU and Northern Ireland for four months from the date of issue • Allows re-entry to GB for four months from the date of issue • An important point for frequent pet travellers Can only be used for one return trip - a new, valid AHC will be needed for every trip you make from GB to the EU

There are three key steps that you need to plan for and factor into your timings:

  1. Microchip: make sure your dog is microchipped - it is a legal requirement that all dogs over the age of 8 weeks old are microchipped so this should not be an issue.
  2. Rabies Vaccination a minimum of 21 days prior to travel: your dog needs to have a completed rabies vaccination at least 21 days before you travel (if it requires more than one injection then count from the date of the last injection) and a dog must be at least 12 weeks old before they can have a rabies jab.
  3. Animal Health Certificate issued within 10 days of travel: get an AHC from your vet within 10 days of travelling, you need to see a vet approved to issue AHCs.

Travelling with your Pet to the UK

An EU pet passport is still valid when travelling to the UK. Have a look at the EU Pet Travel Regulations to make sure or visit the UK Government Website, which was listed earlier.

Renting with a Pet in the UK

Over the years, many UK landlords and letting agents have been hesitant to allow tenants to keep pets in their properties. Only 7% of landlords actually advertise homes as suitable for pets. However, a higher percentage of landlords will consider renting to tenants with dogs and cats. With an estimated 9.9 million dogs and 10.9 million cats living in the UK, demand far exceeds supply. Something that financially savvy landlords cannot ignore. Rather than have an empty property, look at it on a case by case basis.

Andrew Rosindell MP has introduced a private members bill called Jasmines Law to stop unfair pet discrimination by landlord’s. The second reading of the bill is expected in February and has the backing from many major charities including the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. A Pet In Every Home is about ‘what it says on the tin’. The idea is that people with pets have a choice rather than being singled out as a minority who are increasingly forced to settle for second best pet friendly accommodation.

Renting with pets in the UK is a huge issue. Your dog or cat is part of the family. To many they are their children. You would not be expected to move and leave your child behind. The same should be said of pet owners. To be forced to do so has a profound effect on mental health to families in the long term. Pets bring a huge amount of joy to people’s lives. Why should people be deprived of this. This is highlighted in a Pets Magazine.

Tenants with pets in the UK are discriminated against. The same can also be said for some property owners. Many leases have no pets clauses which some people were unaware of when purchasing a property. You may own the property but you are not allowed your own dog or cat. That is how antiquated UK property law currently is.

Top dog and cat friendly property tips

  • Research and plan ahead. Finding a pet friendly property in the UK is more time consuming than you think. You may get lucky and find somewhere quickly, 9 times out of 10, that will not be the case.

  • Our Pets & Property Tips Facebook Groupis all about educating landlords about the positives of allowing pets as well as offering advice to pet owners.

  • With letting agents, there is no hard and fast rule. Some agents are fellow pet owners, who will ‘bend over backwards’ to help. They will ask for more details about your pet(s) and see if they can convince their landlords to consider a small dog or a cat. Another colleague may pick up the phone from the same office and just flatly say no. Don’t give up after one call, particularly if they are a main agent in your preferred location. Be persistent and pop by the office if possible. Agents deal with lots of people, you will be quickly forgotten.

  • Consider properties which has been vacant for months even if they are not advertised as pet friendly properties. Again ‘push’ to see if they will accept a small pet. Offer a deep clean, pay a few months up front, move in asap, offer to meet the landlord with your pet, or go so far as to offer more than a year’s rental agreement, say 2 years with a year’s break clause.

  • Once you find somewhere do not dither. Landlords and agents like tenants who are decisive. Sometimes it may be the first property you see, but it just ‘ticks the boxes’. I have seen so many people have a think and then the property is either sold or let and they realise what a great opportunity it was.

  • Everything must be in writing. Just like any contract, make sure there is a pets clause in the rental agreement, which refers to your pet including name and breed. Do not sign anything without it, otherwise a landlord can evict you and you have no legal protection.

  • Hiring a relocation professional. Yes, you have to pay a fee, but having independent professional advice about locations, types of properties, overseeing the contract and local tips, can make a huge difference and end up saving you time, money and stress.

  • An Estate Agent represents and is paid by the landlord not by you. A cynical view, but estate agents are there to sell or let properties. Some offices there is internal competition. For some agents it is about getting the deal done. They don’t necessarily listen to your requirements which could result in you being tied to a contract.

  • Do not get a pet without consulting with your landlord. Over 30% of pet owners in London have not notified their landlords and constantly look over their shoulders in case there is a knock on the door. An extremely stressful position to be in, which will be felt by your dog or cat too. So basically, not fair on anyone. If your landlord says no, then move out. This article on Eviction Notice highlights the position of a tenant and the temporary government protections in place in line with the pandemic.

Considering a second pet?

If you are thinking about getting a second pet, bear this point in mind. When you sign up to a rental agreement, it specifies the dog or cat as well as the breed. If you are looking to rent with an additional dog or cat, you will need to re-seek permission from the landlord. Best to run it past that person to see what the response is before adopting another pet.

The numbers of pet friendly properties are slowing growing; however, the caviat with that is that landlords are dictating the kinds and sizes of dogs people should adopt. That is why there has been a surge in house cats, French Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Cockapoo’s, miniature Schnauzers and Labradoodles. Less people based in a City are having larger dogs due to lack of space and diminished chances of finding rental properties. Also people who rent with dogs, are carefully considering getting a second dog, as many landlords will not allow more than one pet.

Pets Lets, is a pet friendly property portal, where all landlords consider pets, covering London and the Home Counties. We also offer a pet friendly relocation service for clients with pets. We have successfully relocated pet owners from all over the world as well as people based in the UK.

“I can only highly recommend Russell. My dog Pichu and me love our new home. Russell really knows his job and got me exactly what I wished for. He has been extremely supportive during the move and I am beyond thankful for everything he did. He truly made moving to another country as easy as it can get for me.“ We are so passionate about people renting with pets, that we have set up a Pets & Property Facebook Group. It is all about educating landlords about the positives of allowing pets as well as offering advice to pet owners. We relocate clients with pets from around the world to London and the Home Counties. We know how important pets are to people. Travelling with pets can be stressful. We work with pet travel partners to take the stress

Russell is the Founder of Pets Lets, and a staunch advocate for increasing the number of pet friendly landlords.