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Lifestyle Guides

Renting with pets: what you need to know

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Around 50% of adults in the UK have a pet, yet finding a rental property that welcomes your furry friends has historically been tricky.

The proposed Renters Reform Bill will make it law for landlords and letting agents to consider pet requests, and they can’t unreasonably refuse the request.

Until the Bill is law, read on to discover how to find a pet-friendly rented property.

How to find a pet-friendly landlord

If the contract explicitly states “no pets”, we recommend avoiding that property to evade repercussions such as eviction and fines.

Use filters on property websites like Zoopla and Moving Soon to search for properties in your area that allow pets.

Alternatively, you can approach private landlords on websites such as OpenRent or search classified listings websites like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. 

Can landlords refuse pets?

Currently, landlords can refuse your rental application if you have a pet. 

The Renters Reform Bill will hopefully change it by stopping landlords refusing pets without a justified reason. However, until the new legislation is approved, we don’t know the impact it’ll have and it’s a landlords’ decision.

For example, flat dwellers may be told that having a pet in a small space is unreasonable.

How to improve your chances of success

Creating a pet CV is an increasingly popular way to convince landlords to welcome your pet. 

Include your pet’s:

  • Age
  • Vaccine information
  • Allergies
  • Record of obedience training or behavioural classes

References from previous landlords about your pet may also help convince your new landlord that your pet has lived in rental properties without any issues.

Can landlords charge higher rent for pets?

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, landlords can request an additional pet deposit to cover against potential pet-related damage. This is protected by a tenancy deposit scheme and you should get it back if there’s no damage at the end of your tenancy.

In England, the Tenant Fees Act 2019 means deposits are capped and landlords can’t request higher tenancy deposits. Professional cleaning services are also prohibited under this law, so you can’t be expected to pay for a de-fleaing treatment.

They can, however, charge extra rent for having a pet and you must return the property to the same condition as the start of your tenancy.

Moving in with your pet

Once you’ve found a pet-friendly property, here are a few things to do for your move:

  • Update your pet’s ID tag or microchip before moving so you can be contacted if your pet goes missing.
  • Keep your cat indoors to avoid looking for them because they’ve wandered off.
  • Ask a friend or family member to look after your pet on moving day so you can move your pet in a quieter, less hectic day and not as stressful for them. 
  • Keep your pet in one room with familiar items like their toys, water bowl, and bed to reduce stress and encourage them to settle in.

 

Give your cat or dog the cover they deserve

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