Pet Friendly Property To Rent
We are a nation of animal lovers and collectively own millions of pets. Many kids grow up dreaming of their first dog or cat and some households are home to an incredible number of animals. But if you live in rented accommodation, a pet might be out of the question. It isn’t headline news that landlords don’t like pets but recent research suggests that the situation might be worse than you think.
Pet-Friendly Rental Accommodation in London
The Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) commissioned a study of rental properties to ascertain how many were pet friendly. The data was gathered from Zoopla and reveals that it is incredibly difficult to find a home to rent if you have a pet.
The research was focused on London and the data was collected over a four-week period to provide a snapshot of the situation in the capital. Kensington & Chelsea proved to be the most pet-friendly borough but had just 159 rental properties which welcomed pets out of the 5,587 homes available. That means that just 3% of the available accommodation was pet-friendly.
The City of London
But Kensington and Chelsea is an expensive place to live and would be out of the reach of many prospective tenants. The situation was worse in other boroughs. In the City, there was only one pet-friendly property available and in Sutton, to the south, there were only three. London isn’t unique in this regard. The situation is repeated around the country.
It is predicted that a quarter of all homes will be rented by 2025 and this spells bad news for pet lovers.
Landlords Don’t like Pets
Landlords are clearly concerned that their tenants’ pets could damage their property or its contents. As many landlords have found themselves the victims of poor tenants who fail to pay the rent or trash their properties, you can understand their concerns. But they could be making a big mistake.
American research has shown that people with pets tend to stay in their rental properties for longer. The search for a new tenant is something which no landlord relishes and void periods (periods when the property is vacant) are very costly. Perhaps landlords should consider accommodating pet owners as it could reap them impressive rewards.
Higher Rents for Pet Owners
Many renters would probably be prepared to pay a premium for a home which was pet-friendly and so landlords could be missing a trick here. It is certainly the case that pet-friendly holiday lets tend to be booked up quickly. With such a high percentage of UK households owning pets, the demand for pet-friendly accommodation will always be there whether people are seeking holiday homes or permanent homes.
Pets Top Tenants’ Wish Lists
LSL Property Services recently surveyed over 3,000 tenants to find out what features and facilities they would most like to be included in their rental property. The tenants were also asked how much extra they would be willing to pay on top of their normal monthly rent to get their wish.
The research found that it was pets which topped tenants’ wish lists, with 28% willing to fork out an average of £24 more per month extra to be able to live with their furry friends.
We have quite enough divisions in society without 25% of the population being excluded from keeping pets!
The Challenges Of Renting When You Own A Dog
If you’ve ever tried to rent a property whilst also owning a dog, you will know, it’s excruciatingly difficult. Unfortunately, there aren’t many landlords out there who will allow dogs in the properties. In fact, it really narrows down your choice when it comes to renting a place.
If you are thinking of getting a dog and you know you need to rent somewhere, it’s definitely worth considering just how hard it is to find a place that accepts dogs. Some estate agents literally laugh from the other end of the phone as soon as you mention your furry friend. They swiftly say ‘no dogs allowed’ and you have to move on to the next property. Here are some of the main challenges of renting when you own a dog.
Finding a place which accepts dogs
As mentioned above, the first hurdle is actually finding somewhere where you can move into that allows dogs. Out of every twenty or so properties you might find one that’s maybe open to allowing dogs (not an official stat but just to give you an idea!). So, a lack of choice is definitely something to keep in mind, and always ring up and ask before you get excited about your dream home.
Finding a suitable enclosed garden
Not only will you need a property with a decent sized garden, but it needs to be doggy friendly. And not many landlords care about whether your dog can escape their garden or maintaining their garden at all. It’s important to find an enclosed garden where Fido can stretch his legs.
Having to spend more
It’s so frustrating, but sometimes dog owners who want to rent end up spending more. Why? Because your choice of properties is significantly less, so you often end up having to spend above your budget to get something close to what you want.
Hoping your neighbours are dog friendly
You’ve managed to find a dog friendly flat or house, but then you need to deal with your neighbours. And if they aren’t massive dog lovers you have to be mindful of your dog’s behaviour, whereabouts and vocals. The last thing you want is for constant barking to annoy your new neighbours and for them to complain.
It’s so annoying when landlords and estate agents turn you away after they discover the breed of your dog. It’s not usually the dog it’s the owner. And it’s sad but true that a lot of landlords will only be open to people having smaller dogs. Finding rented accommodation when you’ve got a medium to large dog is even more challenging.
Having to pay a higher security deposit
Yup, this happens. Some places will let you have a dog, as long as you pay a bigger security deposit to cover any potential damage that your dog might cause. So, do be aware you may need to come up with a larger deposit for some places.
Having to get references for your dog
Getting references from previous landlords or estate agents can really help. People just want to see that you’ve lived elsewhere with your dog and there weren’t any problems or complaints from neighbours etc.
How To Find Dog Friendly Rented Accommodation
Finding rented accommodation when you have a dog can be really difficult. Your choice is a lot more limited and you will come up against some challenges. Don’t despair, there are places that do allow dogs, you just have to know how to find them. It’s worth waiting for the right place so that you can settle in suitable home for you and your dog. Those who have tried to find dog friendly rented accommodation in the past will understand how frustrating it can be. Here are some helpful tips to increase your chances of finding the right dog friendly place for your pooch.
It’s Always Worth Asking
You might look at a place online and assume they won’t accept dogs. You could be right, but it’s definitely always worth asking. Give the agency a quick call and ask if they accept pets. You will probably get quite a few no’s but don’t give up.
Give Yourself Enough Time
It’s difficult enough finding a suitable place to live with your dog, without having to do it all at the last minute. Finding somewhere that allows pets and fits your criteria takes time.
Pet Friendly Websites
There are a few new pet friendly websites that list dog friendly accommodation and rental property. Try signing up to a few and checking them regularly. Try and also try using websites that will allow you to put ‘pet friendly’ into your search criteria, this will save you a lot of time.
You Will Need A Garden
It’s unlikely that you will find many places without a garden that will allow pets. Places with gardens are more likely to allow pets, because dogs can run around and have more space.
Do A Meet And Greet
If you can get your new landlord to meet your dog then it might make them feel a bit more confident about letting you move in. They may ask to meet your dog to see how he/she behaves and what sort of size they are.
Avoid Purpose Built Apartment Blocks
Brand new flats and purpose built apartment blocks don’t normally allow pets. So consider ruling them out of your search.
Get A Reference
Ask your old estate agent or landlord to give you a reference. They can they explain that they had a positive experience and you were a responsible dog owner and left the place tidy and clean etc.
Offer A Professional Clean
A lot of places that do allow dogs will have one condition, that you give the house a professional clean before you leave. If you offer this then some places will be more likely to say yes.
Check Rental Adverts Carefully
Try not to get excited about properties before you know whether or not they accept dogs. Some rental adverts will mention whether they accept pets in their property description. Keep an eye out and try and rule out the ones that state ‘no pets’
Try And Be Flexible
You may have to make a few sacrifices on your accommodation if you want somewhere that allows dogs. You might have to be flexible with your criteria if you want more choice. Try and widen your search and keep an open mind.
Get It In Writing
If an estate agent says they think you are allowed pets or a landlord says they are happy for you to have a dog then make sure you get it in writing. Sometimes people promise things and then change their mind, or there could be a slight miscommunication. Get them to add that they accept a dog into your tenancy agreement.
How Hard Is It To Rent A Property When You’ve Got A Dog?
So, we’re not going to lie, the straight answer is that it is hard to rent when you’ve got a dog. We wish it were easier, but unfortunately there are quite a few hurdles. So, those of you who rent, if you are thinking of getting a dog, think very carefully about how this might change your options. Firstly, you will need to get permission from your current landlord to have a dog.
The last thing you want to do is get a rescue dog or a puppy only to find out you either have to move out or get rid of your adorable new pooch because your landlord doesn’t allow pets. Bad times.
You might be wondering why finding a rental property when you own a dog is so hard? Well, it’s mainly because a lot of estate agents and landlords point blank refuse dogs. In many cases it may be because of the type of building/development the rented accommodation is in. Some buildings have general no pets’ rules, so even if the estate agent was open to the idea, it wouldn’t be possible.
There’s a bit of a preconception that allowing tenants with dogs will lead to all sorts of problems. Landlords picture the worst-case scenario - their property destroyed by naughty canines. Carpets ripped up, walls scratched, toilet ‘accidents’. Whilst this occasionally happens, it is very rare.
Often, it’s down to the owner not training their dog properly, or simply because a dog has behavioural issues. If you are thinking of renting with a pooch, you will need to make sure your dog is very well trained, non-destructive and not very vocal. Landlords also worry about other tenants (a.k.a your neighbours) complaining about a dog barking or just generally causing problems, and they don’t want to deal with the hassle.
There isn’t really much support for responsible dog owners who want to rent a property, and it’s very frustrating. You will come up against all sorts of challenges whilst looking for the right home.
Do keep in mind that your choice of properties will be massively narrowed down simply because you’ve got a dog. It can be very disheartening calling up 20 different estate agents and get a ‘no dogs policy’ from every single one. And some estate agents can be quite abrupt as soon as you mention you have a dog.
You also might end up having to pay more in rent in order to get the type of place you want. Plus, you need to find a property that is well suited to a dog, so it will need a big enough enclosed garden for your pooch to stretch their paws.
But before you give up totally, there are some things you can do to help improve your chances. It is possible to find somewhere; you just might need a bit more time and patience to find it. Here are our top tips for improving your chances of being able to rent with a dog…
1. Get a reference from your previous landlord.
If you have previously lived somewhere with your dog get your landlord or estate agent to write you a positive reference, stating that your dog didn’t cause any issues.
2. Write a sort of doggy CV type thing.
It can simply be one page about your dog, their breed, age, behavioural traits and basic details. You can include positive references and comments from dog sitters, dog walkers and previous landlords.
3. A larger deposit
You may need to offer to pay a higher deposit in order to secure some properties, which is unfair but occasionally necessary.