Pets are part of the family. By landlords saying no to pets, it is the same as not allowing people’s children. With circa 50% of the UK population owning a pet and an extra 3.2 million pets being adopted over lockdown, this represents a growing number of potential pet owning tenants across the UK.
Owning a pet has become more the ‘norm’. You see people all the time walking their dogs. If so many people own a pet, logic would dictate that these same people need a place to live. Yes, the UK is a pet loving nation. Cafes, shops, department stores have opened their doors to dogs. The last frontier to ‘welcome pets’, are landlords.
The main reason why landlords are so fearful about renting to people with pets, is all about ‘supposed’ damage pets can cause. A buy to let property is an investment. Even fellow pet owners are reluctant to allow pets in their rental properties. A case of the ‘head’ ruling the ‘heart’ or simply ‘money’ over ‘sympathy’ for fellow pet owners.
It is all about changing the mindset of the UK landlords and agents when it comes to pet friendly rentals.
With Pets Lets being a pet friendly relocation agency as well as a UK property portal where landlords consider pets, we work with people who love their pets every day.
It is surprising how quickly some UK landlords and some estate agents say no, when you mention your clients have a cat or a dog. Despite that, it is slowly improving as landlords cannot ignore the post lockdown surge in people renting with pets. The fact that the UK government merely suggested and did not enforce landlords accepting pets, did not help the situation of those people renting with dogs or cats.
The Dogs Trust Lets With Pets Scheme is a good source of information when researching into pet friendly accommodation in the UK. It gives tips on how to get a landlord to change their minds from no to a yes when renting to people with pets. The diary of a pet friendly relocation agent is to show a brief insight to what the role entails when searching for and agreeing pet friendly rentals for clients.
A typical week in the London pet friendly world of property
Still waiting to hear from the landlord whether they have accepted our offer. Even the estate agent is ‘pulling their hair out’ as there is ‘radio silence’ from their client. Our client is calm, which is great. We are now starting to look at other properties. Really odd situation. Just got the ‘go ahead’ for our client to put a cat flap in the back door of the property, on the basis they ‘make good’ at the end of the tenancy. Pawsome news. Just came across a great block that is 100% pet friendly. Lovely location and interiors look great. Will be popular.
Brilliant. Just had an offer accepted on a house for a South African client and their two dogs. There was competition on that one. Client so happy. Client flying in with their dog from the USA. Moving straight into their Chelsea property. Furniture in place. Always nervous when moving into a property unseen. Right by the River Thames and a short walk to Battersea Park. Ideal for their Labrador to run about. Fingers crossed.
Just received a complaint that a tenant is leaving their dog pooh bags on the communal terrace. Just what I need at the end of the day. A quick call and is all sorted. These small things really do put off landlords and agents from renting to people with pets.
Sometimes ‘two steps forward and a step back’, when convincing landlords that pet owners are the most responsible tenants.
Out and about looking for properties in central and south west London. Just had an agent trying to get me to offer on a property without seeing it. Even worse they weren’t sure if it the landlord would allow pets. Really. What is the point. No pets, no deal. Really simple.
Just seen a great pet friendly flat in Clapham by the common. One issue; fridge/ freezer is tiny. My client is US based. A big no no. I reckon we could fit in a larger free-standing appliance.
All about ‘looking outside the box’ and finding solutions for your clients and their pets. Just taken on a client with 2 basset hounds. Love them. Faces full of character, just like the Pets Lets Co-Founder who is a basset/ beagle cross. US client just emailed to say they love the Chelsea flat with an amazing testimonial. Made my day.
“We could not be more pleased with Russell and Pets Lets! He helped us every step of the way from advising us on the best neighborhood and understanding our home needs to even helping us with our new landlord and setting up utilities. He went above and beyond for us! It is overwhelming to move to a new country but having Russell gave us the confidence that we could find the perfect place for us and our dog. And we did! We love our flat, our dog loves it and would recommend Pets Lets to anyone moving to England!"
Really struggling to explain to a client that the eaves storage cannot be made into a cupboard with hanging space. Despite me having been to the flat and them living overseas, they are fixed on the photos and floorplan. Agent and landlord are losing patience. Might well go back onto the market. There is plenty of interest. Would be a real shame.
Just put together an offer for a client. Now going out to check works to a house are on schedule for the client to move in with their dog at the end of the month. Just had a call from a contact about a flat coming on the market that will allow my clients cat and dog. Important to be the first through the door!
What better on a Friday morning than to get a glowing client testimonial: “Thank you Pets Lets for finding my beautiful home for myself & my doggies!. Makes your day. Just secured a property in North West London for a client with their cat. Agent a pleasure to deal with. Client is happy too as just lost out a property a few days earlier. Finish on the day with good news. A colleague in Kent has a secured a property for a client with 3 cats. Took time. Got there eventually.
Would like to say that weekends are free. Not the case. Working with overseas clients, especially a lot of clients relocating with their pets from America and South Africa, you have to account for time difference.
A zoom call is a great way to ‘e-meet’ people. Always good to have face to face conversations. A cat has been known to jump up to the screen mid conversation and dogs don’t like to be left out, including my own.
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.
A note to landlords considering allowing pets in their rentals
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.