Renting with a dog in London or anywhere full stop is all about being responsible. Landlords have enough ‘issues’ about pets causing damage and leaving odours behind. Responsible people with pets work hard to ‘spread the word’ that renting to people with dogs is ‘hassle free’ and the property will not be damaged and will indeed be well looked after.
The percentage of pet friendly landlords will only increase when word spreads that people renting with dogs and cats are responsible. So, it is sad to show this picture of a Central London rental property where the patio is covered with dog poo. This week I was talking to an agent contact of mine. She sent me the picture below of a tenant who had refused access to the landlord saying they had covid. That landlord was considering buying the flat above in a central London building off High Street Kensington. Looking down onto his own patio, he was horrified to see the patio covered in dog poo. That was only outside, no idea what the state was inside.
He immediately instructed his agent to exercise the break clause in the rental agreement which is coming up. All it takes is one ‘irresponsible’ dog owner. They know they are in the wrong, hence they prevented the landlord access. That landlord will probably no longer be pet friendly. Also, the fact that landlord was considering buying another property, means that he or she most likely has a property portfolio. More properties that will now say no to pets.
Landlord Facebook groups are filled with comments of bad experiences of renting to pet owners. Everything from cats scratching the carpets and curtains to dogs chewing furniture and not being properly trained to go outside to do their business.
When renting with dogs in the UK, you must pick up after your dogs. Whether it is in your garden or patio or in a park, common or off the street. It really does give other dog owners a bad ‘name’ and puts landlords off renting to tenants with pets.
Outcome of irresponsible pet owners
The outcome of seeing the state of the patio, is that the landlord has requested his agent to exercise the break clause in the tenancy which is coming up. He is well within his rights to do so.
Tenants forget a break clause can work both ways
Too often tenants thinks that it is about them breaking the tenancy agreement and leaving early. This is an example of when the landlord can exercise his or her rights. All it takes is for a neighbour to complain. We had this with a client who left dog poo bags piling up on a communal terrace. In this case, the landlord issued a warning, and the matter was resolved.
Makes it harder renting with dogs in a competitive market
When the UK rental market is competitive, it is difficult enough to find a dog friendly landlord. When stories get out about people littering patios with poo and showing a complete lack of disrespect to a landlord by preventing access, word spreads. It is just as important for dog owners as well as agents and landlords to ‘clamp down’ on irresponsible people with pets.
Don’t give people renting with dogs a bad name
With the huge increase in the UK pet population, pet owners looking to rent with their pets is a massive market that cannot be ignored. However, it is an opportunity that landlords will ignore if they hear ‘horror stories’ about people renting with a dog or cat. Pets fouling in properties as well as damage are big issues.
2019 Tenant Fees Act hindered people renting with dogs and cats
The 2019 Tenant Fees Act made it even more difficult for renting with dogs and cats in the UK. Being able to take a big deposit to cover damage etc, made pet friendly rental more appealing in the UK. This Act reduced that ability; in fact it restricted it to 5 weeks rent only and prevented landlords for asking for extra fees. Some landlords and build to rent operators ask for extra pet fees. Otherwise known as pet rent, landlords feel this is a way to recoup losses after landlords have incurred extra fees with this recent legislation. An easy route is to charge people renting with pets more. It is an emotional decision that pet owners cannot say no to. The vast majority of people who rent with dogs are responsible. It takes time to build reputations. That hard work can be quickly undone.
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.