England is an animal loving nation and it is estimated that over 12 million households in the UK have pets. The property market is becoming ever more expensive and pushing an increasing number of people to consider renting rather than buying, so the demand for rental properties that accommodate pets is firmly on the rise.
In response to this, it is noted that the number of landlords accepting responsible pet owners as tenants has grown over the past two years.
Kings Lettings knows that nobody should have to part from their pet when they move house, and so we have put together a guide on the most important things to consider when looking for the paw-fect pet-friendly rental property.
WHY LANDLORDS MIGHT NOT PERMIT PETS
There are many reasons why landlords might not welcome pets in their rental properties, and these should be considered when looking for your future home.
The main reasons are:
If you are renting in a built up area, particularly in a block of flats or apartment, your landlord might be concerned about the noise your pet will cause, although this applies mainly to dogs. If your landlord meets your dog, this can show them that they respond well to strangers and are well tempered.
- Mess and property damage
Pet owners will be well aware of the mess animals can cause to a property by scratching, chewing and urinating. This is why caged pets such as hamsters are usually permitted in rental properties.
- The nature of the property
If the property is too small, landlords may be unlikely to accept pets.
However, in 2021 changes were made to the Standard Tenancy Agreement that made it easier for tenants to find rental leases that accommodate their pets:
NEW MODEL TENANCY AGREEMENT
The changes to the Standard Tenancy Agreement prevent landlords from placing a blanket ban on pets in their rental properties. Instead, they must reject written pet requests from individual tenants within 28 days of receiving them with a legitimate reason.
The new agreement also states that tenants must be legally responsible for covering the cost of any damage caused by their pet.
LOOKING FOR PET-FRIENDLY PROPERTIES
It may sound obvious, but start your search by looking for properties that actively accept pets. This is the best thing you can do when looking for pet friendly properties as it will make the transition much easier, and eradicate the need for negotiations.
You should also consider looking for properties with sufficient garden space and a local vet with positive reviews, just as you would look for safe schools for your children. If you have a dog, then it might be worth hunting for houses within walking distance of a local park.
If there aren’t any properties suitable for you and your pet, you may need to be flexible on the location of your property. Nobody wants to give up their pet, so it is important to keep in mind that you may need to make sacrifices regarding cost and location in order to accommodate them. It is worth noting that landlords letting out family homes or homes with large gardens may be more likely to accept pets, as they might just consider them to be a part of average British family life.
DISCUSSING PET OWNERSHIP WITH YOUR LANDLORD
Winning over your prospective landlord might seem like a tricky task to undertake, but following these best practises will help you with the process:
- Provide a reference from a previous landlord to prove that your pet is well behaved, and that you take full responsibility for them.
- Give evidence of your pet’s medical records to prove that they are microchipped, spayed, and vaccinated, and any veterinary contact information.
- Allow your prospective landlord to meet your pet. By making your pet’s acquaintance, your landlord will gain a better understanding of its temperament, and whether or not it’s likely to create noise complaints.
- Consider increasing your rental offer (to off-set the Tenancy Deposit cap) to provide an avenue to have your offer accepted.
TRAIN YOUR PETS
Landlords are far more likely to turn down a pet request if your pet is badly behaved. A pet will be more warmly accepted into a rental property if it is litter trained, not likely to cause a noise disturbance, and is obedient.
You know your pet better than anyone, so before you try and convince a landlord to accept them into a property, ask yourself some basic questions about your pet’s behaviour; can you provide a dedicated space for a litter tray, and guarantee they’ll use it? If you have a cat, do they have scratching poles that will stop them causing damage to the property?
Remember, when it comes to pets, property damage is a landlord’s main concern. If you can provide proof that your pet is well-behaved, this might just sway them to allow your furry companion in their rental house.
DON’T HIDE A PET FROM YOUR LANDLORD
While it may seem tempting to go ahead with letting a property without gaining permission from your landlord to keep a pet, it is the easiest way to get yourself, or your pet, evicted.
It is super important to ensure that you have written confirmation of pet ownership in your tenancy agreement, otherwise your landlord is well within their right to take legal action against you.
In order to avoid this happening, you should always start looking for properties several weeks before your current property lease expires to allow yourself time to find a suitable property for you and your pet.
ACCOMMODATE YOUR PET
Moving house is not only a stressful time for you, but it will be for your pet as well. They will have been given an entirely new home to get used to in an area they don’t know. Therefore, making sure that your pet settles comfortably into their new home is just as important as finding a property that accepts them.
Here are some things you may consider to make this time easier on your pet:
- Settle back into a regular routine as quickly as possible. This will not only alleviate the disruption to your pet, but also help you settle into your new space quicker.
- Pay attention to where your pet feels most comfortable in their new home. If you notice they like sleeping in a certain spot, move their bedding to that area. If they appear to be urinating in a specific corner, make sure their litter trays are moved.
- Give them oodles of attention. Make sure they know that even though things are changing, they are still a priority in your life.
- Decide early on when your pet will be moving during the process. This will help you make the process as seamless as possible for them, and know exactly when to move all of their stuff over. Delaying the process will only cause them undue stress.
Should you require any information regarding renting pet friendly properties, please feel free to contact Kings Lettings, as we’re always happy to help accommodate finding you and your furry friends a place to call home.
KINGS LETTINGS, 103 HIGH STREET, MAIDENHEAD, BERKSHIRE, SL6 1JX
Lettings and property management offices in London, Reading, Maidenhead, Staines & Windsor.
T: +44 (0)16 2863 2188 | E: MAIDENHEAD@KINGS-LETTINGS.CO.UK