At Pets Lets, we know what it takes to secure a pet friendly rental for our clients. We recently found this US client a property before it came on the market:
“Prior to working with Pets Lets, we were struggling to find a landlord that would consider allowing pets. Our assistance from Pets Lets was the key to finding a "cat flat". Russell listens to your parameters, gives you realistic feedback, and couldn't be friendlier or more professional. He clearly has established strong relationships with property managers and landlords as well. We feel fortunate to have worked with Pets Lets.”
Here are a few UK pets & property tips:
- You should prepare at least 3 months in advance. Especially if you don’t know London very well. The London rental market is very competitive. The more focused the better.
- Preparation is key. Have all your paperwork in place. Everything from a Pet CV, to an employers reference to a landlord reference if you can get one.
- If you are a student, a lot of landlords will ask for 3-12 months up front due to affordability.
- If you see something you like and the landlord is happy with your dog or cat. Just ‘go for it’. Chances are it will go very quickly and you’ll regret it. That is what I advise clients.
- To take a property off the market you need to pay a 1 week holding deposit. Until then, someone else can come in with a counter-offer. I have seen it many a time.
- Just because you have a pet, don’t be shy to ask for the flat to be painted or touched up, the garden to be cleared or furniture to be removed or added. Some landlords are more helpful than others. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
- When making an offer. Have everything in writing. If not, some landlords will refuse to do it. I have witnessed a landlord say no to professionally cleaning the flat as it was not written as a special condition. Never assume.
- The fridge/ freezer, washing machine and dishwasher are called ‘white goods’ in the UK. They are included in 99.9% of properties. Sometimes there may not be dishwasher or just a washing machine and no dryer.
London is a complicated property market
- Many buildings have no pets’ policies. Especially in Central London. The landlord may be happy to allow pets, yet the building says no.
- Would you believe it, even if you buy a London property, the building can still stop you walking your dog through the door of their new home. Make sure you don’t make an expensive mistake.
- Estate agents and landlords work in different ways. Don’t be rushed to sign on the ‘dotted line’. Once you sign the tenancy agreement that is binding. Without a pet’s clause, the landlord could suddenly change their mind about allowing pets.
Here is an example pet’s clause from a tenancy agreement:
"The Landlord hereby agrees that the Tenant can keep one Jack Russell Dachshund mix named XX providing any damage caused by the dog is treated as damage caused by the Tenant".
If you are concerned about any damage to the property by your pet(s), you can always look to get insurance cover, to cover the period of your tenancy.
Fly your dog to the UK in style
Check out K9 Jets, a pawsome experience for you and your dog.
It can be so difficult and expensive to get your dog or cat on a commercial flight from the US to the UK. K9 Jets is certainly an awesome experience.
Far less stressful as the paperwork is done on board during the flight. Which means you can walk your dog down the steps from the plane without the hassle.
Enjoy working with US clients
My approach is to listen to what clients have to say. I don’t put together a few properties and say ‘pick’ one.
As a London property search agent, it was about a bespoke service and offering open-minded advice. Always advise on the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of a property. I remember a US client loving a house in Chelsea. It had character, light and very ‘English’. I did many times point out that Chelsea Football Club was right behind it and it would get very loud with busy surrounding streets on match days.
It didn’t matter. My client loved the property. Match days did not bother her and she did learn a few new ‘words’ from the fans.
I am all about looking after my clients. That is why I get repeat business and am regularly recommended.
This article was written by Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets. With over 25 years as a London estate agent and London property search agent covering London and the home counties, as well as a dog owner with a basset/ beagle, setting up the Pets Lets Relocation Service made complete sense. We work with clients from all over the world. Pets are our four-legged children, aka ‘fur-babies’.