7 ways to improve your chances of renting with a pet

Whether you have bought a puppy to keep you company now you’re working from home or you have a fondness for rescue cats, there is no doubt that a pet can be the most wonderful companion.

What isn’t always compatible is the need to rent a property and take your pets with you. Attitudes to lets with pets are, however, changing and tenants now stand a greater chance of renting somewhere that welcomes Fido or Felix.

What has changed already

In January 2021, the Government’s Model Tenancy Agreement – a blueprint document that some, but not all, landlords and letting agents use – was changed. Previous wording suggested a blanket ban on pets in lets has been removed and now landlords must provide a good reason why not to let pets stay in a property they rent out.

Landlords warming to the idea of pets in lets

Business insurers Direct Line surveyed current landlords on the matter of lets with pets soon after the Government amended its Model Tenancy Agreement. Nearly half welcomed the revised document, suggesting that there is a softening of attitudes around tenants moving in together with their domestic animals.

Future pet-friendly changes planned

Although still not fully passed, the Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill would force letting agents and landlords to remove ‘no pet’ clauses from their in-house tenancy agreements, meaning that all tenancy agreements created could not contain an outright ban on pets.

The new Bill would be a step forward but it’s also worth noting that tenants would have to meet a new set of conditions before moving a pet in. These include: passing a test of responsible ownership, with certification from a vet; proof of an up-to-date vaccination and flea treatment schedule and in the case of dogs, proof of micro chipping and a demonstration that the pet responds to basic training commands.

7 ways to improve your chances of renting with a pet

If you’re searching for a rental property but can’t bear to be parted from your pet, or your current landlord needs convincing on the matter of moving an animal in, you might like to try the following:-

  1. Compile a pet CV: this should detail your pet’s breed, age and veterinary practice, along with the animal’s vaccination record and details of any training it has completed.
  2. Obtain pet references: a short statement from your vet, dog sitter/boarder or trainer may help convince your landlord that you own a well behaved pet. Even better is a reference from a past landlord if they let you have a pet.
  3. Invite a future landlord to meet your pet: if a landlord can see how your pet is cared for, its temperament and in what home environment it’s kept, it may help your cause.
  4. Offer to pay a rent premium: as tenancy deposits are now capped, taking extra money to hold against pet damage is now banned but as a renter, you may want to offer a small amount extra on top of the advertised rent as a substitute.
  5. Commit to professional cleaning: if a landlord is worried about the condition of the property after it has housed a pet, you could offer to pay for a professional deep clean to be conducted at the end of the tenancy – a condition that can be written into the tenancy agreement.
  6. Opt for lets that have been vacant for some time: every landlord dreads an empty property, so the most open-minded may be those who have endured long void periods.
  7. Take out insurance that covers pet damage: landlords will feel more comfortable with pets in their property if you can prove your insurance covers damage caused by chewing, scratching, tearing or fouling. There will be extra bonus points if your policy also includes accidental damage, such as if your dog knocks over the TV, but read the small print as not all pet-friendly policies will cover the same aspects.

Contact us if you’d like your next rental property to be pet friendly or if you’re thinking of moving a pet into where you currently live.