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Renting with Pets: The Tenant’s Guide

Phi Spencer

By Phil Spencer

In Britain we love our pets! The only problem is, landlords don’t tend to love them quite as much.

But, with over half of the UK’s population owning a pet, and nearly 1 in 5 of us renting our home, rentals that allow animals are in high demand.

So, how can you make your move a little easier? Here’s some advice on renting with pets.

Why is it hard to find a pet-friendly landlord?

There are a number of assumed negatives associated with animals. Pets can cause damage to a property, or annoy the neighbours due to noise and odours. It’s easy to see why avoiding the hassle altogether might be the more attractive option.

Finding a property to rent with pets

Privately renting with pets isn’t impossible. However, rented properties that allow pets often have more complicated leases! Or, a landlord will allow cats but not dogs, for example.

Some tenants find themselves forced to:

  • Give their pet away
  • Temporarily rehome them with family or friends
  • Give them to a shelter

Advice for renting with pets

With some compromises on your side, you should be able to find a pet friendly rental.

Start looking for a property early

Don’t leave house hunting until the last minute, the process can take longer than you may think.

The last thing you want is to waste time researching properties, only to find they don’t accept pets.

Some property portals offer the option to filter your search to deliver results where pets are accepted. This will help you narrow down your options.

Consider the property itself

Landlords with houses or ground floor properties are more likely to accept pets as there’s easy access to the outside space.

Agree to pay a pet deposit

There are a number of reasons for deposit deductions, with damage to the property being one of the main ones.

These clauses are in place to cover any eventualities, and you may be required to pay a pet deposit. This can either be an separate amount, or you may be asked to simply pay a higher deposit. These are often non-refundable.

It might be a good idea to offer to pay a higher amount - especially if the landlord is reluctant. This may show you’re a responsible tenant prepared to mitigate against damage.

Of course, this isn’t an option for every tenant, particularly those on a budget.

Be flexible

If you find something outside your preferred location, but it allows pets, it’s worth considering. Pet friendly properties can mean compromising.

Prepare to pay more

Unfortunately - you may have to accept your rent will be a little higher than expected. Specific pets clauses may be drawn up in the tenancy agreement.

Provide information on your pet

Some landlords won’t accept puppies or kittens as they may cause more damage.

It might sound strange, but you may want to put together a pet ‘CV’. This should contain details on:

  • The age/gender of your pet
  • General behaviour
  • Reference from your vet
  • Reference from previous landlord (if applicable)

Allow them to meet your pet

References are one thing, however, a potential landlord will gain much more from meeting your pet.

If you pet is well-behaved, this will help put their minds at rest.

Agree to a professional clean

Keeping a rental property clean is key to being a good tenant! However, for tenants with pets, this is even more essential.

If a landlord allows you to keep a pet, there might be a clause at the end of your tenancy for the property to be professionally cleaned. This may also include getting it fumigated.

While it may sound extreme, pet owners can be required to do a thorough clean of the property for any future tenancy. This isn’t unreasonable when you think the next tenant may be allergic to animal hair.

Don’t try and hide your pet

If the landlord finds out you’re in breach of your tenancy agreement, you could be faced with eviction.

Also, get written permission from the landlord or the letting agent, confirming you’re allowed to bring your pet with you.

Pets allowed to rent - what to do next

Once the landlord is satisfied, you will receive permission, usually confirmed in the tenancy agreement or by separate letter. This will often allow only one pet to live in the property.

Renting in a new area? Arm yourself with the facts - as knowledge is power. Find out more with Phil Spencer's Property Report, with information on everything from crime rates to schools. Get your report here.

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