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London is generally a dog friendly city to live in. We have The Royal Parks, including Hyde Park, Regents Park & Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park, Bushy Park and Richmond Park. Few other major cities in the world have such open as well as central ‘green spaces’ for dogs to roam.
The Dogvine and The Londog are great websites to give dog owners an insight into the London dog world. Where you can go, meet other fellow dog owners, have a meal or shop with your dog as well as events going on in and out of the capital. Knowing where dogs are allowed in London is important. A tip is to look out for a dog bowl outside a shop.
Dog Furiendly is also a good source of dog friendly information in London as well as across the UK. Some of the large department stores are dog friendly such as Liberty’s on London’s Regent Street and The John Lewis Group as well as others including Selfridges, where you have to carry your dog. A little tricky if they are a heavier breed.
You can even find A Dog Cafe on London’s Kings Road. Of course, being a dog friendly cafe they have a dedicated menu of freshly prepared dishes for your dogs from beef Wellington to beef bone marrow broths. Humans also have their own separate menu. A friend of mine had a business meeting by chance, without dogs, and was impressed, by the dog menu and the overall experience.
Love My Human is also a modern pet boutique and luxury groomer. All about pet care, both grooming and having a sophisticated time out with your owner and friends. The website Wagit is also a great website for finding out more about where you can eat and drink with your dog in London, such as pubs, bars and cafes. A directory of great places to eat as well as a site where you can find London dog groomers. Always double-check dog friendly eateries as some will only let you sit outside with inside still saying no to dogs.
Change takes time. The same is true for dog friendly London. Great news this week is there is now Uber Pets. There is also the Addison Lee pet friendly taxi service. You need to be able to travel with your dog or cat. There is so much uncertainty with some Uber drivers saying yes and others no. You would not be 100% sure you could travel with your dog until you driver arrived. There is of course an extra charge.
The London Underground is dog friendly, actually one of the most dog friendly transport systems in the world. London busses are happy for you to ‘jump’ on and off with a dog too. Dog friendly London has a pawsome transport system.
At least there are more options with pet friendly transport. Renting a property with a dog or cat is still an issue in London. Many landlords are still against renting to responsible pet owners. With demand for rental properties in London still high, many landlords opt for people without pets. Also bear in mind, that with the lack of rental properties, some landlords are not renewing contracts and are opting to re-market the properties. Buying a pet friendly property with a dog or cat, can be equally difficult. More information below.
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.
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
A lot of pet owners do not realise what a powerful tool the Pet CV is when applying for a pet friendly rental in the UK. A large percentage of people when renting with dogs for example, do not realise that Pet CV’s exist, let alone make a difference. Even estate agents look at you twice when you mention you have a Pet CV.
Why does a Pet CV help? When a landlord sees a Pet CV they visualise a responsible pet owner, who will look after their property. They have gone to the effort to put down all their details about their pets. It shows how important to them their dogs and cats are. They are part of the family. The principle is the same as a normal employment CV. The better it is collated the more impressive you come across as a potential employee.
Pets Lets secured a property for a client in February 2022 against another relocation agent and two parties without pets. A little surprised we ask the estate agent how? The response was the landlord loves pets, loved your Pet CV and the package you put together. We were not the highest offer either. The main thing with a Pet CV is that the images of your cute pets, can be the difference between a landlord saying yes or no to pets. A cute image(s) of your pets can ‘win’ people over. I have witnessed it. Best not to have a picture of your dog chewing anything or a cat clawing something. That would have a negative effect with a landlord.
Only when you see the sweet images of the dogs and cats, can you then see how unlikely those pets will ‘destroy’ the property. Whether you let to any tenant with or without a dog or cat, it is luck of the draw. As a landlord, experience in property, gives you that ability to know from ‘gut instinct’.
People renting with dogs tend to stay longer as they appreciate the ‘pet friendly roof over their heads’. Sharers are known for creating damage, something we have witnessed at Pets Lets. There is no fixed rule of thumb, and all landlords have their preferences. In an ideal world they would rather rent to someone who is hardly veer in the property, minimal wear and tear.
For more information about renting with dogs and pet cv’s, there is the Dog’s Trust Lets with Pets website.) Very informative with plenty of tips about looking for pet friendly accommodation. The UK property market is complicated enough as it is; when you add dogs or cats to rental properties, it makes it very much more focused as according to UK government statistics only 7% of UK landlords are actually pet friendly when it comes to their properties.
However, steps by the UK government to make it easier for pet owners to rent are merely suggestive and not enforced legally.
Stand Out Amongst the Crowd
Again just like a normal CV, it is about your USP (unique selling point). With landlords, as a pet owner, you are at the back of the queue.
You need to find ways of jumping that queue and getting to the front. A Pet CV is one of the tolls to achieve that. This interesting article from Australis on pet resume tips give a few more pointers as to what to include in a pet cv and achieving that objective of securing your pet friendly rental, whether it is in the UK or in any other country. The concerns of landlords renting to people with dogs or cats is a global one. It is just more ‘entrenched’ in some countries than others. Something that is slowly improving.
The Kurt Zouma, kicking his cats story has highlighted how important pets are to people. With half the UK population owning a pet, they play a big part in society.
Increasing shops and cafes are becoming pet friendly. Water bowls are outside shops during the summer months as a sign you can come inside with your dog. If you own a shop why turn away half your target market.
Everywhere you go you see people walking their dogs and an increasing number of adverts portray pets. Even an energy company this year told people Hug a pet on an LBC interview, which was later retracted, but highlights how ingrained pets are in modern day society.
People call their pets ‘fur babies’ and fur pets’ for reason; they are part of the family. The live with you under the same roof, whether you own your property or you rent with a dog or cat. Moving without them is not up for discussion. Kurt Zouma’s behaviour is deplorable and many pet owners view it as ‘kids’ being kicked. People in their thousands have demanded he be dropped as mistreatment of an innocent child or pet must not be tolerated.
Despite a public backlash, West Ham football club have still decided to play him. They have dealt with matter internally. A £250,000 fine which is a mere 2 weeks wages for this particular footballer. Sponsors are re-evaluating their ties with the football club. At least the RSPCA have taken his cats into custody. It is a situation where action has to be taken. Footballers are public figures and this kind of mindless behaviour cannot be left unpunished.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”. The UK can certainly be seen as ‘great’ the way they have responded. Thousands have protested, sponsors have dropped Zouma as well as West Ham and there could be further action by the) RSPCA