How To Convince Your Landlord To Allow A Dog
I have been renting for about six years now. Finding a place you like usually isn’t too difficult, unless you have a dog. Trying to find a suitable rental property that allows dogs is an absolute nightmare.
Every time I have had to look for a new place, I have come up against a stigma towards dog owners. As soon as you mention a dog to an estate agent on the phone they make disapproving sounds. Some estate agents have been alright about it, but many have been downright rude. It’s estimated that around 46% of households own dogs, and we are meant to be a dog loving nation, so why is it so difficult to rent a property if you have a dog?
Well, it’s because there are a select few dog owners out there who are irresponsible. They allow their dogs to ruin rental properties and don’t respect the accommodation they are living in.
A few landlords have had a bad time with bad dog owners, and will never reconsider allowing a dog. It’s frustrating that these people spoil things for the majority. Landlords and estate agents assume a dog will ruin their property. Therefore, you need to convince them otherwise.
After battling with estate agents and landlords about allowing dogs for several years now, I have picked up a few tips. I know what to say when I try to change people’s opinions about allowing a dog in a rental property. Here’s a few helpful tips:
- Say you have a reference from a previous landlord who will explain that a) your dog didn’t cause any trouble and b) you left their property in tip top condition.
- Explain that you are happy to pay a month and half’s rent as a deposit, and that this should cover any potential damage (not that your dog will cause any).
- Make sure the landlord/estate agent knows that there will be someone at home with your dog. Reassure them that it won’t be left at home alone all day while you go to work. Landlords don’t want a frustrated dog being left in their property unattended all day (and it’s also unfair on the dog).
- Create a sort of CV for your dog. Compile all the main information about your dog and save it in a document that you can send to prospective landlords. This doggy CV should contain information such as the breed, size, age, temperament and any training the dog has completed. You might also want to add a few references from people who know your dog (ie your vet or a dog trainer).
- Put in a decent offer. I know it’s unfair, and you shouldn’t have to do this. However, if you see a property that’s perfect for you and your dog, consider offering a bit more money to entice the landlord. This worked for me, but it still frustrates me that I had to pay more just for having a dog.
- Be prepared to be asked what breed and size of dog you have. There’s no point lying as you will most likely get found out.
- Another thing that estate agents and landlords worry about is noisy dogs. The last thing they want is the neighbours complaining about a dog who barks all the time. If you have rented before, tell the landlord your old neigbours can confirm your dog wasn’t noisy.
- If you see a listing that says no dogs, don’t be afraid to ring up and try and convince the landlord otherwise. If you really like a property it’s worth fighting for. You do have to get used to being rejected most of the time, but the odd estate agent/landlord just might surprise you.
- If you don’t yet have a dog but are planning on getting one, and you are also considering renting in the near future, be careful what dog you choose. For example, landlords are less likely to allow young puppies who will most definitely create a lot of mess. Instead, get an older rescue dog. They also don’t usually allow very large dogs. It’s much harder to rent a property with a large dog than a smaller one. It’s a shame, because some smaller dogs can cause far more problems than larger ones.
I hope some of these tips help. After a few years of renting with dogs you end up learning what you should and shouldn’t say, and how to put your case across.