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Pets Are Family & Tenants Too

In the Government’s latest press release (January 2020), they are looking to make it more straightforward for pet owners to find pet friendly properties in the UK.

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, has called on landlords to make it easier for responsible tenants to have well behaved pets in their homes. He has announced an overhaul of the model tenancy contracts. See link below for the full press release:

According to the press release only 7% of UK landlords advertise their homes as being pet friendly.

As the Housing Secretary rightly points out, “Pets bring a huge amount of joy and comfort to people’s lives, helping their owner’s through difficult times and improving their mental and physical wellbeing. So, it’s a shame that thousands of animal-loving tenants and their children can’t experience this because they rent their homes instead of owning property.”

Paaw House which is a recently launched pet friendly website, feels although this is a move in the right direction, landlords will still ban pets until it is legally enforced through legislation like it is in France.

At Pets Lets we agree with Paaw House, little will change because it is up to the landlord’s discretion and many agents won’t enforce the right of tenants with pets. At the end of the day, the landlord is a client who agents don’t want to lose.

Our focus is on London and the issues living in the Capital with Pets. Unlike much of the UK, London is not as pet friendly. Property and Pets is not as straight forward.

With the London pet friendly property market there are a lot more obstacles for pet owners:

  • Many Mansion Blocks have not moved with the times and have outdated no pets’ clauses. These need to be re-addressed by freeholders and management companies. Times have changed. Yet property in London has not with Victorian lease agreements and individuals being able to block many having the right to have a pet in buildings across the Capital. Sometimes simply out of spite, which we have witnessed.
  • Some landlords are personally not pet friendly so will not even consider tenants with pets, despite it being a growing market. They just view pets as making a mess and causing damage to the property.
  • We have come across property agents who flatly say no to lets with pets and advise their clients/ landlords accordingly.
  • Some landlords use pets as an excuse for extra revenue by introducing over-inflated pet rents.
  • When there is competition for a rental property; the prospective tenants without pets have a better chance of securing it.

Solutions to making London a more pet friendly property city:

  • Change the mindset of freeholders and managing agents. Show that the majority of pet owners are responsible.
  • If your block has experienced and helpful porters/ concierge, ask them to help discuss the matter of allowing pets with the managing agents. They will add gravitas to the matter of letting with pets.
  • Make people realise that pets make people happier. They make buildings feel more of a community.
  • If you are a landlord with a property, insist that you will allow pets, even if the agent advises against letting with pets.
  • If you have a pet, make sure you have a Pet CV in place, so your case is as strong as possible with the agent/ landlord.

Russell Hunt is the Founder of Pets Lets, loves pets and has a Beagle/ Bassett, and has been advising clients on buying, selling and letting London property for over 20 years. To find out more, email us at [email protected] or follow us on Instagram @petslets

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