Millions of people in the UK have a pet, in fact nearly 1 in 2 households! Yet finding somewhere to rent with your pet in London is not easy.
Lots of mansion blocks have antiquated leaseholds which do not allow pets. Some of these documents are so old they could have been written when people used a feather dipped in ink! Don’t assume that if a lease does not refer to pets that they will be allowed. All it takes is one neighbor to complain about barking or a noise late at night and you could be evicted. A good tip is to talk to the porters before you commit. They are the best informed about the rules and regulations of the building and will really tell you if having a pet in the building is an option or not.
When signing a tenancy agreement, makes sure it is ‘crystal clear’ in writing that pets are allowed in the property. Do not listen to the agent saying, ‘I am sure it will be fine’, that is not good enough. Knowing how long agents stay in one place, it is doubtful they will be there when the issue ‘comes back to haunt you’.
We advise, depending on budget, that you look for specific types of pet friendly properties to be on the safe side. Look for a place that has its own front door, this can be a flat as well as a house. This is because there will be no communal areas to upset other people as well as the strong possibility it could be a freehold property. Freehold means that the landlord is in charge and is not subject to lease restrictions. If the landlord is content to let with pets, then you should be okay. Again, have it all in writing.
A good tip about finding a pet friendly houses or flat in the Capital is to ask if the landlord will take pets even it does not mention them. Ask the agent or landlord. It may be they will allow a small dog or a house cat. You never know. The pet market is growing. Landlords are becoming more open-minded to allowing pets.
Garden flats work well too as pet friendly accommodation. If you have your own secluded patio that can be a bonus. If there is a communal garden, again make sure there are no pet restrictions.
The London property market is complicated. You may see people in a building with a dog. It does not mean they are allowed. It may well be the case that the porter just ignores it. If the person behind the desk changes, so could the informal pet friendly property rules and regulations.
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.