Renting with pets

Renting With Pets And Pet Friendly Accommodation

It’s becoming increasingly difficult in the UK to find accommodation that allows common household pets such as dogs and cats. The situation is now becoming so difficult people are simply lying to their landlords and keeping their pets without consent. We’ve also heard stories that owners have had to surrender their pets or they could face becoming homeless.

Speed Property Buyers want to help. In this guide we will take a look at why landlords are so against lettings with pets, who can help you find houses to rent with pets and what your rights are as a tenant.

Lets With Pets And Top Tips To Keep In Mind

In 2009, Dogs Trust launched the innovative scheme Lets with Pets, encouraging landlords and agencies to accept tenants with pets. In the following two years, the Dogs Trust carried out a survey in 2011 and found that:

  • Pet owners can take up to seven times longer to rent a home compared to non-pet owners

  • 1 in 3 pet owners could not find a suitable property that would accept their pet

With statistics like these, you can see why the Dogs Trust was so enthusiastic and eager to help the general public find pet friendly lettings.

Lets with Pets released a great PDF resource, supplying you with ten top tips to find accommodation:

  • Don’t leave your house hunting until the last minute. They suggest 6 – 8 weeks before leaving your current home

  • Be as flexible as possible. Location and property type are criteria that you should be flexible on to give you the best chance

  • Write a CV for your pet. Provide your potential landlord with as much information about your pet as you can, such as details of your veterinary practice and someone who can care for your pet in an emergency

  • Get a reference for your pet. Getting a reference from your previous landlord confirming your pet is well behaved and clean could go a long way in giving your new potential landlord confidence

  • Introduce your pet to your landlord. This could help put your landlords mind at ease by showing him/her how well behaved your pet is, this is particularly important for dogs

  • Offer to pay a higher deposit. By offering a higher deposit you can reassure the landlord that you will cover any damage that your pet may cause

  • Offer to have the property professionally cleaned. One of the main reason landlords worry is due to flea infestations, pet hair and dirty carpets. Paying to have the property professionally cleaned when you move out is a great trust signal

  • Be honest, don’t sneak your pet in without permission. If caught, this will only cause problems and trust issues with your landlord. This could also put your tenancy at risk

  • Get written permission. This will help protect you legally and give you proof that you were allowed to keep your animal in your property

  • Make moving day stress free for your pet. Keep your pets happy on moving day to reduce the risk of damage to your new property

Some great tips that should help you find a pet friendly property to rent, and also help you communicate better with potential landlords about your situation.

Renting With Cats And Dogs

Be Considerate Of Your Neighbours

When renting a property with animals you must be aware of the people around you, mainly your neighbours.

Do NOT allow your animals to litter in public areas, if you are a dog owner you are required by law to clean it up. This is a common complaint that animal owners encounter. If you share a communal area, such as a garden, then you must clean up after your animal as you don’t want to cause unnecessary problems with neighbours that could lead to you being ejected from your home.

Probably the most common complaint landlords receive in relation to renting with pets, is the noise they make. The most common culprit being consistent barking dogs. You will need to address these problems quickly; Lets with Pets suggest dogs bark for reasons such as, excitement, fear and boredom. If you can’t get to the bottom of the problem, Lets with Pets also suggest seeing a dog behaviourist for advice.

According to Lets with Pets research damage caused to properties and furnishings is one of the top reasons why landlords won’t accept pets. This is mainly down to contents insurance, as it will not cover you for any damage caused by your pets. It’s important to take steps to stop this from happening. The Dogs Trust recommends leaving your pets toys to occupy them when you’re not home, such as food puzzle toys.

Finally, you should investigate the Head Lease of the property. If the property is leasehold there could be a clause in the lease barring pets, so your future landlord should check this before commiting.

Pets And The Laws Protecting Them

Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal Health and Welfare Act (Scotland) 2006. You must provide all the animals’ basic needs, such as adequate food, water, exercise, a (suitable) place to live and access to a vet.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. It’s against the law to keep any dog breed known as Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasilero.

Control of Dogs Order 1992 meaning that every dog is required to wear a collar bearing the name and address of said owner while in the public.

These laws are here to protect the public and yourself. If you do not follow them you could potentially be prosecuted which in turn will hinder all chances to rent a property later with an animal.

Image Source: davebloggs007.

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About the author

Starting his career in Estate Agency, Jeff quickly moved up the ranks to manage his own office for Halifax Property Services. Co-founding Speed Property Buyers in 2008, he has applied this knowledge and overseen rapid expansion of the business.