Living in London and being able to rent with a pet can cause a lot of stress with people as pets are part of their family. Landlords are put off by the idea of a pet, particularly a cat or dog causing damage. It is largely a myth, the majority of dogs for example are well trained. Their owners are firmly in control, more so than some adults without a pet. Property owners can ask for extra rent for pets as they cannot ask for a higher deposit which is now capped to 5 weeks rent.
Pet friendly rentals in London are not only restricted by landlords, but also by agents, particularly in Central London, where letting with pets is too much of a hassle. If you have two interested parties in renting a property, easier to advise the landlord to opt for the people without the pet. Simpler and avoid the deal falling through later on.
At Pets Lets we help people find pet friendly properties and list London pet friendly rentals on our website www.petslets.com. We find talking to agents, quite a number refuse to have anything to do with pets and have no intention of changing their minds.
Basically, pet owners in London are not only up against Landlords but also agents that advise them against the pet friendly rental route. Yet 25% of the UK population owns a dog, 17% own a cat and other pets are made up of Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters & Gerbils, Snakes, Lizards, Insects and Tortoises & Turtles.
As a pet owner, one tip when talking to agents, get them to ask the owner if they might change their minds about having a pet. A past reference form a landlord would help, if your dog for example is small and well behaved, then tell the agent.
Also, if a property has been vacant for a while, the landlord may well change their mind rather than lose more rental income. The time of the year helps. The market just before Christmas is quiet, a tenant with a pet or have it empty to at least mid-January may be of interest for peace of mind over the festive season. Watch out for excessive pet rents. Time is money for landlords, so you are also doing them a favour too!
In London there has been a 1% decrease of people living with pets. This is largely due to people being restricted to renting with a pet. Certainly, if pet friendly housing was not such an issue in London, that figure would be heading upwards.
We offer free advice for people looking for a pet friendly property in London as well as Landlords looking for tips to make their property pet friendly and open their doors to a growing market. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram @petslets
Russell Hunt is Founder of Pets Lets who has also advised clients on buying, selling and letting London properties for over 20 years.