Finding a place to rent when you have a pet can be a challenge. In 2021 Zoopla only listed 7% of rental properties as being pet-friendly, or open to tenants with pets. However, there are some things you can do to help the process and make it easier to find a place to rent for you and your pet.
This advice is most relevant for people who already own a pet and are looking for somewhere new to rent. If you currently rent and would like to ask your landlord about getting a pet, take a look at our advice on getting a pet as a renter.
Searching for a property when you have a pet
When looking for a new place to rent, search for properties which are listed as ‘pets considered’ or have positive mentions of pets in their advert. Dogs Trust have provided this handy guide on how to search for pet friendly properties on some of the biggest rental websites.
If you go to view a property, take the opportunity to consider whether it’s an appropriate space for both you and your pet. Things to look out for include whether there is access to outdoor space and whether there is enough room for your pet to move around.
WHAT TO SAY TO A LANDLORD ABOUT HAVING A PET
If you find a property you would like to rent, try to approach the landlord directly about the possibility of you renting with a pet. Our research has found that landlords are sometimes more open to the prospect of pets than letting agents are.
It can help to proactively give reassurances about your pet, their character and any training along with any other positive reasons they are suitable for the property.. This could include things like references from a previous landlord, a vet, or a behaviourist. You can also assure your landlord that you will train your pet, or mention any training that you have already done with them. Battersea has lots of behavioural advice to look through, as well as online dog training classes.
When you speak to a potential landlord, try to offer solutions to any problems they might anticipate with you having a pet. In our research we found that landlords were 40% more likely to allow pets if tenants offered to get insurance against pet damage, to deep clean the property at the end of their tenancy, or (where legally possible) to pay a higher deposit which could be returned at the end of the tenancy.
AGREEMENTS AND PAPERWORK TEMPLATES THAT CAN HELP
There are some existing template agreements to make the paperwork side of things simpler and remove one more barrier for a landlord. One is Battersea’s own template. The other is the Government’s Model Tenancy Agreement (MTA).
WHAT TO DO IF YOU CAN'T FIND A PROPERTY THAT WILL ALLOW PETS
It’s not something we always want to consider, but sometimes we might need to make alternative arrangements for housing our pets. Sometimes friends or family can step in, but if you do have to make other arrangements to rehome your pet, a reputable animal rescue and rehoming charity like Battersea or an Association of Dogs and Cats Homes member can help and will be on hand to reassure you and guide you through the process.