Hello, I am Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets, a fellow landlord as well as dog owner.
I was a London estate agent and property search consultant for over 25 years. I founded Pets Lets having inherited 3 dogs from people, who’s landlords said no to pets. I have seen it all. I practice what I preach; a recent tenant rented with her dog in my London flat. She had relocated from the US to study. When the property was vacated there were no issues. In fact, she had improved the look with a touch of interior design skills. Throughout the tenancy period I was always asked before any changes were made to the property.
So many times, I have seen sharers ‘trash’ a place. I was in a lovely house in Wimbledon and my client who had an elderly beagle, had agreed the property. We were all shocked at the state in which it was left. There was even a door off the hinges. A classic case of the landlord based overseas and poorly managed. The client moved in following a refurbishment and has looked after it. A perfect property for them and their dog. A rare house on one floor, no stairs, great for their dog who was losing his sight and a secure back garden.
Both landlords and pet owners are equally passionate about the topic of renting with pets. For landlords, property is an investment/ pension and many pet owners see landlords as uncaring and greedy.
My mission is to educate both landlords and pet owners, so that the percentage of UK pet friendly rentals increases from the current dismal 10% (check figures) to a higher figure more proportionate to the 50% of the UK population who own a pet. 76% of millennials are pet parents. Saying no to pets or not even considering it, is losing out on a huge target market. Yes, it is a landlord market at the moment, but that can change. Markets in both sales and rentals fluctuate.
As I help clients with pets find pet friendly accommodation in London, that means I constantly work with estate agents and landlords. Sometimes, it is just a case of reassuring a landlord that our client is responsible, that their dog will not damage the property, or the cat will not claw the furniture.
From experience, I see how happy people are when we secure them a property. They are so grateful. They look after the property. Many extend their stay as they appreciate it and look after it as if it were their own home.
Pets are children
Pets are here to stay. Youngsters have cats and dogs and will not relocate without them. I have looked after many students moving home with their pets, something you would not have come across years ago. That sums up how much the market is changing. Landlords need to consider the importance of pets in people’s lives. This is mirrored by the increase in the number of pet friendly build to rent development across the UK.
Look long term
No landlord wants a void period. The ideal tenant is one who stays for many years, minimal wear and tear on the property and pays their rent on time.
Think about it. Sharers and young professionals tend to move quickly as their circumstances change. Students stay for a year or two, some are responsible, others are not. It is luck of the draw. Pet owners on the whole stay longer, are responsible and pay on time. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule; those pet owners give others a bad name.
I can only point out to landlords what I have learnt through years of experience in property. Pet owners are worth taking a gamble. Look at a pet cv, maybe meet the tenants and their dog or cat. Check the dogs training credentials. Any dog owner who professionally trains their dog, must be responsible.
Last point: so many people work from home. The myth of a dog or cat being left alone the whole time is no longer the case. Most of the time someone is home. Also more offices allow you to bring your dog.
How times have changed. Lifestyles have changed. The concept of renting is changing with new developments who offer more than just a place to live. They bring people together as a community is increasingly appealing to younger generations.
This article was written by Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets, a UK pet friendly property portal offering properties where landlords consider pets as well as a pet friendly relocation and buying service. Prior to setting up Pets Lets, Russell was a London property search consultant for over 25 years for clients looking to buy and rent in the Capital.
Click here to see useful pet cv’s and pets clauses, as well as other pet friendly rental tools on the Pets Lets Portal. A [Pet CV]( have a look at our example Pet CV’s, landlord references as well as template pets clauses, which can make a huge difference in convincing a landlord to accept pets.
For useful advice or to find out more about the UK pet friendly rental market, feel free to join our Pets and Property Tips Facebook Group for helpful professional advice on pets and property.