Lets with pets, part of Dogs Trust offers good advice to pet owners and landlords looking at the benefits of renting to people with pets. More landlords need to consider letting with pets. That takes time and landlords need to be educated about the merits. Yes you can take a reference, but at the end of the day, it is a ‘lottery’ as to how the tenant will be, regardless renting with or without a pet. Ask yourself ** who can make more damage to a property, a dog or cat or a child or teenager?** From personal experience as a dog owner with three teenagers, I have my own opinion and ‘champion’ the quest to convert UK landlords to consider lets with pets.
- Tenants with pets stay tend to stay longer
- As it is hard to find dog or cat friendly rentals in the UK, pet owners value where they live and look after it
- Pets are part of the family. Like children, people ensure their pets are well behaved
- If as a landlord you are not sure about renting to people with pets, try it initially with a small dog or a cat. House cats, for example, sleep a lot of the day, so do older dogs Some of the many points to consider when letting to people with pets. Pets Lets also offers advice to pet owners through the information hub as well as advises pet owners on renting with pets. We also source pet friendly accommodation with the Pets Lets Relocation Service. After years of experience advising estate agents and landlords on the benefits of renting with pets, we know how to source the properties where landlords will consider renting to people with pets. Fur babies are part of the family. Everywhere you go there are adverts for dogs and cats, from grooming, pet accessories and even dog vitamin tablets.
Dogs and cats mirror people’s children.
What people also forget is that having a pet is also beneficial for children with their development. Dogs and cats, help with mental health, social and emotional skills and help them feel secure. Stroking a pet has proven to relax people. So if pets are such a big part of our lives in the UK, why are landlords not more open to renting to people with pets.
A few irresponsible pet owners can ruin it for the many
pick up after your dog. People who own properties walk the streets, parks and commons. If they see it everywhere, step in it, it will put them offer renting to people with dogs
At Pets Lets, we received a complaint about a tenant who had just stockpiled her dogs pooh bags on a communal terrace and it was smelling. Common sense says throw the bag away straight after use. That landlord was having second thoughts about renting to dog owners. A case of two steps forward and then a step backwards.
Head over heart
What do you mean by this? Very simple. Dog owners are of course sympathetic to the hardships about finding pet friendly properties. So you would think that a dog owner who is also a landlord would then naturally let to people with pets? Actually, some dog owners, let their heads rule and don’t allow pets to protect their investments. The very same people who know that cats and dogs, for the majority, cause little damage to property. Total double standards when it comes to renting with pets. Head, which is the money side rules the heart which loves pets
Mythical damage caused by dogs and cats in rental properties
Give yourself plenty of time to find a pet-friendly rented home and begin searching at least 8 weeks before you need to move out of your current home.
Be flexible on location and property type
- Finding a rental property is hard enough. A pet friendly rental is even difficult. Be flexible with your move in dates. Be flexible on furnished or unfurnished. If there is no furniture in the property, landlords can be more flexible with pets as it is not theirs to potentially damage.
- Don’t look in areas that won’t work for your budget. If you prefer a specific location(s), then make some compromises. Perhaps a large 1 bedroom instead of 2 bedrooms, or be flexible on off street parking or be near a park or common instead of having a garden.
- Be open to modern as well as old style properties which can be more practical in the layouts. Being flexible will increase your chances of finding a pet friendly rented home for you and your pet(s).
Marketing your pet(s) to the landlord and agents
This is all about the Pet CV.
You need cute images. Seeing this alone can win over the most cynical landlords. An obvious point; do not use images of dogs chewing of cats say clawing a post. That would only have a negative impact.
Add any training qualifications. Anything to show you are a responsible pet owner.
Information about up-to-date injections, regular flea treatments.
Sometimes a bit of personal information helps. Hobbies as wellas the fact that you work a lot from home. Landlords worry about pets being left alone and getting stressed.
Last resort offering 3-6 months’ rent up front
More as a last resort, offer to pay 3-6 months’ rent up front. If you are not employed in the UK, you will be asked for proof of funds, a guarantor or asked to pay more than 6 months up front. With or without employment, tenants with or without pets are being asked for proof of affordability. A letter from an employer with position and salary can help.
Not advisable to rent without a pets clause in your tenancy agreement
- If you are thinking of sneaking a dog on cat in, think again. Without a pets clause in your contract, you have no rights. All it takes is for a neighbour to complain or the landlord to make a surprise visit. Not worth the stress. Just be honest from the start.
The UK lets with pets summary
The perception landlords have of pets is outdated. To some extent is actually ‘mythical’. There is this notion, that dogs and cats run around chewing and clawing furniture and are totally destructive. Yet you would not ask a parent if their children are well behaved and do they have a history of damaging property. Are their rooms kept tidy or is it one big ‘floordrobe’? Pets are ‘modern day’ children. They are part of the family and like children they look to you for help and guidance in the form of training. They provide comfort and help people. It is proven that even stroking a cat or dog can help relax people and comfort those with mental health. What right does a landlord or freeholder have to demand you not live with your ‘fur babies’. With 50% of the UK population owning a pet, this is very short sighted of landlords. Like big organisations, landlords are slow to adapt. However, with demand outstripping supply they don’t need to allow pets and many agents are too afraid to ask landlords to consider renting with pets for fear of losing the instruction. When supply outstrips demand, you will see increasingly the ‘Rise of the pet friendly landlord’. Otherwise, a change in pet friendly legislation would be a good option. Amend the 5 week deposit cap and more landlords may start to let to people with pets.
This article was written by Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets, who has over 25 years’ experience as an estate agent as well as a London search agent.
Pets Lets is a UK pet friendly property portal where landlords consider pets. There is no obligation to say yes to pets; just give it a go renting to tenants with pets. Consider a tenant with a small dog or a house cat. If the property is pet friendly and the building, if not freehold, allows pets, then open your door to a huge UK pet friendly property market.
For pet owners, based in the UK as well as overseas, we also offer a Relocation Service. We go through what you are looking for, come up with suggestions, source pet friendly properties through contacts, as well as negotiate on the rent and make sure all is in order with the tenancy agreement and includes a pets clause.
At Pets Lets we are so passionate about renting with pets, that we set up the Pets & Property Tips Facebook Group to offer fellow pet owners advice about the UK pet friendly rental market.