UK pet friendly properties

Finding pet-friendly housing in the UK

15.02.2024 04:52 pm

Here are some important tips when looking for pet-friendly properties in the UK:

Plan ahead

The UK property rental market is not simple - it is competitive. Give yourself at least 2 months. If you don’t know the areas you are relocating to, allow at least 3 months.

Be prepared

At Pets Lets has an extensive network of professionals who can assist you with various aspects of your relocation. Whether you need help with visas, finding a school for your children, exchanging currency, or locating pet-friendly short-term accommodations, Pets Lets can connect you with trusted experts in these fields. Rest assured that if Russell doesn't have the information you need, he will be able to refer you to someone who does.

Have the right documentation

When it comes to renting in the UK, it's crucial to demonstrate that you're a responsible tenant who can meet the rent payments. Additionally, it's important to show that your pets won't cause any damage to the property and won't disturb the neighbors with late-night barking. To ensure a smooth rental process, it's advisable to have the following documents prepared in advance, if possible.

  • Employer reference
  • Landlord Reference
  • Pet CV
  • Vet or doggy day care reference
  • Proof of funds
  • UK Guarantor set up (if possible)

Consider the different types of UK Properties & locations

Think about your preferences when it comes to the type of property you desire. Are you drawn to modern new builds and high-rise apartments, or do you prefer the charm of a traditional English Victorian-style home? Additionally, think about the ideal location for your new home, taking into account factors such as your commute to work and proximity to friends and family.

Have a budget

Knowing your budget is important and that will dictate where you should look. Without that, you can’t really focus your search.

Keep in mind local differences

It's important to consider that properties in the UK may differ from what you are accustomed to in the US or other parts of the world. One notable difference is the presence of under the counter tiny fridge/freezers, which can be a deal-breaker for some clients who love everything about a flat except for the small fridge/freezer. Additionally, Victorian properties often feature narrow corridors, which can be a downside for many people, as well as dark properties that may not appeal to everyone. Another adjustment to keep in mind is the distance from shops and transportation, as being far from these amenities can be a significant change.

Be prepared for issues with US funds transfers

This is an important point. In the UK, once a property is agreed, you pay a 1 week holding deposit. This takes the property off the market, meaning nobody else can counter-offer and take the place from you. The issue here is that funds take time from the US to the UK and that risks someone else counter-offering. Some estate agents will accept a bank screenshot. Others will only accept cleared funds in their account. If you have a UK bank account, have some funds in that to make a quick transfer. With some clients, Pets Lets makes the transfer to quickly secure the property. You can also have a local friend or family member pay on your behalf.

Be flexible

Maintain flexibility when it comes to your moving dates. It's important to be open to the possibility of taking possession of a property a week or two earlier than expected. Additionally, when it comes to finding a home that accommodates your pets, consider the benefits of opting for an unfurnished property, as it may be easier to negotiate pet-friendly terms. Similarly, be open to exploring different locations based on the advice provided by Pets Lets. Many clients have found themselves in alternative areas suggested by Pets Lets and have been pleasantly surprised by their newfound love for these locations.

Don't fret over reference checks

Don't worry if you don't pass a reference check. Some reference companies have a rigid approach and only consider income in pound sterling, disregarding other currencies. However, there are strategies to overcome this obstacle.

Make a tenancy agreement

It's always important to have everything in writing when it comes to renting a property. This includes any additional requests or agreements you may have, such as the property being professionally cleaned before you move in or any necessary repairs like painting walls or removing items. Don't assume anything - make sure to put it all in writing as part of your offer to ensure clarity and avoid any misunderstandings.

Have a pet clause

Ensure that your tenancy agreement includes a specific mention of your beloved pets, including their names and breeds. This is crucial, as without this provision, you may not have any legal recourse if the landlord decides to deny your pets.

At Pets Lets serves as a broker specializing in UK pet friendly properties. They offer a bespoke service here to look after you. Current Starwood Pet Travel clients can receive a £500 discount - just mention you are working with Starwood when signing up to the Pets Lets Relocation Service.

The UK has a very ‘antiquated’ property system. It is unusual and can be confusing. For advice from Pets Lets or fellow pet owners who have ‘been there & done that’, feel free to join the Relocating to the UK With Pets Facebook Group

Pets Lets testimonials:

  • “Russell is dedicated to getting you a good result. He’s not driven just to secure a fee. In one instance he gently encouraged us to move on from negotiating with a first-time, nervous landlord he judged might cause trouble down the road. His Spidey sense told him she wasn’t a good fit. I deeply appreciate this about him. Ultimately the flat he negotiated for our family was better in every way. We couldn’t be happier. I’m steps from a park for the dog, shopping and the tube. A perfect result, really.” - California client with a cat & a dog

  • “My family and I relocated to England (from California) at the end of 2023 with our two cats. After doing some research about renting in the UK, I stumbled upon Pets Lets. My wife and I hopped on an initial call with Russell and went over our situation. He was very helpful from the start, immediately helping remove some stress. A few months later, I flew out to England to look at some houses with Russell. I sent him a few and he recommended some others, the house we actually ended up with is one he found while I was over there! (The house is perfect for us). Russell is a fantastic person to work with on a professional level, but also just a really nice person to be around. My parents were there as well and he made sure to make them feel a part of the hunt! The UK housing market is rough, houses/flats popup quickly and are just as quickly snatched up. Having someone like Russell in your corner will really help. We highly recommend him! Thank you for all your help Russell/Pets Lets!”

This article was a collaboration between Starwood Pet Travel and Russell Hunt, a pet friendly UK property broker and Founder of At Pets Lets. Russell has over 25 years of experience in London property and is a fellow dog owner with a beagle/basset hound mix.

*Photo by Izabelly Marques on Unsplash