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Lets and pets: a guide to renting in London with a furry friend

Rover, Felix and Penelope (look, we know a few people who have called their cat Penelope. Don’t judge) all need somewhere to live too, right? In fact, 12-million households across the UK have pets, which is about 46% of all homes. That’s an astounding figure, particularly since it seems that most of London’s rental properties on Rightmove and Zoopla display those two very annoying words: ‘No pets!’ Lets and pets don’t go together quite as well as they should.

But what do you do if you have a little, or big, furry friend –  as it seems a fair portion of you do – and want to rent a home in London? Landlords aren’t usually enamoured by the idea of letting to a tenant with a pet because they fear the animal will damage their property or leave nasty lingering odours.

Responsible pet owners usually make good tenants; if someone is mature enough to look after an animal, they are likely to be equally adept at taking care of a house or flat. Pet owners also favour staying in rented accommodation for the long term because of the clear headaches associated with finding somewhere to rent with a pet.

Landlords have to decide on the type of tenants they want, and each case should be reviewed on an individual basis, rather than dismissing the idea out of hand. But back to you, dear tenants: if you’re looking for a property that is pet-friendly, there are a few things you can do to make the process slightly easier.

Be upfront with the agent

If you’re using a lettings agent to help you find a property, tell them you have a pet, and they will only recommend homes that are suitable. It’s even possible they already have a list of landlords who consider allowing pets in their properties. Online-only websites like Openrent require landlords to state whether they are happy for tenants to have pets, which will save you having to ask them.

It’s important that you don’t move into a property without telling the landlord you have a pet. You will be breaking the terms of the lease and, if they find out, they will be well within their rights to evict you. Things could get unnecessarily messy.

Larger deposit

Be prepared to pay a higher deposit if a landlord is happy to let their property to you and your little animal matey. The average rental deposit is around six weeks, but you may need to pay between eight and 10 weeks to secure an apartment for you and your pet. The extra fee is because the likeliness of damage increases when an animal is involved, even if you’re an A-star pet owner. It’s standard procedure, and most landlords will require you to pay a larger sum for the deposit.

Start early

If you know that it’s going to be a bit harder to rent a pet-friendly property, start your search early, so you have plenty of time to find somewhere. Six to eight weeks should be long enough to source accommodation, and you won’t be leaving yourself open to taking somewhere out of necessity instead of a place you actually want.

Be flexible

While you may have a set of requirements for the style of home you want to live in, it’s important to keep an open mind. Unfortunately, owning a pet does mean there are fewer accommodation options, so there might need to be some flexibility on your side. Being more open to where you rent speeds up the process for finding a pet-friendly home.

Pet CV

If you have a well-behaved, quiet pet, you should let any prospective landlord know by providing them with a pet cv. It’s not a joke; we’re serious. Some key points to include are details of the pet’s last vaccinations and local veterinary. It’s also a good idea to get a reference from a previous landlord, so prospective ones know they’re letting to a well-behaved pet. Well, letting to you, and you have a pet. Although, it would be pretty amazing if Rover stumped up half the rent for the month.

Meet and greet

There can be many misconceptions as to what it’s like to have a pet in a property, especially if the landlord doesn’t have one. A good way to break the initial barrier, as well as stereotypes, is to introduce your pet to the landlord. They may be more open to accepting your tenancy if they meet the pet.

Lets and pets

So there you have it. It doesn’t need to be a chore to mix lets and pets, and if you follow these steps, finding the perfect home for you and your furry companion will be even easier. Don’t forget to check out our ‘Where should I live in London’ widget to see which areas in the capital are most suited to you.

 

 

April 13, 2017 rentonomy Topical