UK pet friendly properties

Do Pets Really Cause A Lot Of Damage?

04.01.2022 10:13 am

When it comes to pets and property, damage is the main concern landlords have. At Pets Lets we talk to agents and landlords whilst we are finding pet friendly rentals for clients. Landlords are concerned primarily by damage and smells and how that will affect future tenants with allergies. However, adults damage properties; there have been many places we have been to where the landlord is carrying out extensive works because the last tenants ‘trashed’ the place. Also, children have be known to have paint brushes, crayons, parties and like anyone can cause some damage. To say dogs and cats, cause extensive damage is an ‘exaggeration’, when most sleep all day.

With any rental property, there is a tax allowance for wear and tear. With a tenancy, there can be accidents, or some tenants do not look after properties. People renting with pets, should not be ‘classified’ as ‘home wreckers’.

As a landlord, taking on a tenant, it can be ‘luck of the draw’. How responsible will they be? We have seen tenants over the years ‘work the system’, not pay the rent up until eviction, knowing they can get away with it. However, with pet owners looking to rent, you are so grateful when you find a property that will allow your dog or cat, that you want to look after it and stay longer term. People renting with pets are more responsible than your average tenant without a pet. Most dogs are trained, and a lot of our clients have Pet CV’s as well as a reference from a previous landlord.

Landlords do over complicate the ‘issue’ of renting with a dog or cat. You don’t ask about children’s ages or how well behaved they are. To do so, would be ‘insulting’ to many parents. Dogs and cats are to many their ‘children’; yet people renting with dogs and cats are questioned all the time.

Unfortunately, irresponsible pet owners tarnish the reputation

We are talking about the irresponsible few. This {Money Supermarket article](, has ‘over dramatised’ the issue of dogs and damage and even ‘named and shamed’ the dog breeds, which is a complete generalisation.

When you read the article you realise what the aim of the research is; to ‘panic’ people into getting insurance cover or hinting to landlords it should be a recommendation as it cannot be enforced with the {2019 Tenant Fees Act](

This piece of research has merely ‘stoked the fire’, undermined the push to get pet friendly rental legislation through the government, all to increase business for pet insurance. With landlords no longer being allowed to ask that a tenant with pets takes out insurance, what better way then to alter the mindset, that pet owners automatically feel the need to.

The Knock on effects

Not only does this undermine legislation, it also ‘panics’ landlords about allowing pets into their properties and has a negative impact on the breeds mentioned. You can see how Letting Agent Today, have picked up on this which will then spread across the numerous Facebook groups and become a ‘hot topic’ of debate in social media.

Pet owners versus landlords is already a passionate topic of conversation

For pet owners, their dogs and cats and guinea pigs etc, are part of the family. To many they are like children. Since 2005, pet expenditure in the UK has risen by 170% to £7.9m

  • Pets mirror children in the sense that they are taken to the groomer, have daycare and walked, are pampered generally, specialist foods and toys. You can even buy pawsecco and dog biltong.

  • Some pet owners, are sympathetic to the issue of the lack of pet friendly accommodation in the UK, yet when it comes to their own property portfolios, are happy to say no to pets.

  • With landlords, all it takes is a bad experience, a cat clawing the carpet, a filthy property when the tenant left, to put them off and they will tell fellow landlords. Word then spreads. Property is a small world in the UK.

Positive points for landlords on renting with pets to consider

  • Tenants with dogs and cats generally stay longer and look after the property better
  • Pets are good for people’s mental health and tend to socialise more with neighbours
  • With 50% of the UK population owning a pet, too big a market to ignore
  • Pet owners are less demanding as they value their home
  • Most dogs are well trained and less likely to cause damage in rental properties
  • Post pandemic, people are working more from home. They are with their pets and can take them out for walks. Pets are not left so much at home alone all day as in the past.
  • People with pets generally are more responsible tenants compared to others without. They are responsible for their dog or cat, just like a child, which means they care more. Something we have witnessed with many of our clients.

Renting with pets summary

Let 2022 be a year when landlords consider renting more to people with pets. References are all well and good for people without pets, but you don’t really know how they will treat your property behind the ‘façade’. People with pets values a nice home that will allo pets as they are so hard to come by.

Ask yourself the question; who are more likely to look after a property, sharers or say a couple with a pet? From experience, I know the answer. Yet landlords still see pets as the ‘problem’. Take it on a case by case basis and tell your agent or wherever you list a property, that you will at least be open to pets. You can always say no.

I, Russell Hunt, wrote this article, as the Founder of Pets Lets, a UK pet friendly property portal as well as offering clients a Relocation Service.

Having grown up in London and adopted three dogs from people whose landlords said no, is a huge wake up call to how little landlords have changed over the years. There is still a ‘blanket’ no to pets and still many large buildings have no pets clauses. Hence the emergence of Pets Lets.

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.