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Pet-friendly rentals

Pet-friendly rentals: a guide to renting with pets

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So many of us (about half the UK population in fact) are pet owners and even more of us WISH we were pet owners. Yet many landlords are reluctant to accept tenants who have pets.

Although this can be worrisome for many owners, it’s not the be all and end all. Let’s take a further look at renting with pets, and how best to secure a pet-friendly rental.

Why don’t landlords accept pets?

There’s no clear-cut answer to this, but when you think of things from a landlord’s point of view, it’s easy to see why pet-owning tenants may not be the most desirable – remember that a landlord has no way of telling how responsible you are as an owner. Think about:

  • Scratched furniture
  • Chewed electrical cables
  • Droppings on the carpet
  • The bad smells associated with pets
  • The noise of barking or meowing, which may lead to complaints

Of course different landlords will have different views on tenants with pets, but they’ll likely take all of the above into consideration.

Honesty is the best policy

‘But my pet never scratches furniture,’ we hear you say. ‘They’re impeccably house trained and they don’t bark during the night!’

All pets are different and the best way of getting around your landlord’s reservations is to be completely honest with them, from the outset. Chances are, the property you’re aiming to rent will be suitable to your pet anyway (i.e. if you’re a Newfoundland owner, you’ll hardly be looking to rent a top-floor flat in the middle of a city).

If you explain the case to your landlord, clearly and honestly, your chances of securing a pet-friendly rental are much greater. Likewise, it’s a breach of contract if you move a pet into your property without telling your landlord.

Introduce your pet to your landlord

There’s no better way of staying honest and of getting your landlord on side than introducing them to your pet! This will instantly put their worries at ease – providing your pet is well behaved!

Make a case for your pet. You may even be able to amend your contract and hold yourself responsible for the damage they cause – if any.

Amend the contract

Most rental agreements in the UK are Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements, which can be altered if both parties agree on the amendments.

This is great news for pet owners – there are more pet-friendly houses to rent than you might think!

If you fit the bill, are a responsible tenant and think that the one thing holding you back might be that you’re a pet owner, this isn’t necessarily true. The conversation is always worth having.

Plan early

If you’re moving to a new house/flat and you already have pets, it’s always a good idea to start planning early. This will allow you time for negotiations to take place.
You may also need to be flexible in your search, so make plenty of time for browsing, viewings and decision-making.

Need more info?

Your vet may not be a property expert, but they can certainly advise on the animal side of things!

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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