According to recent research nearly half of UK’s population owns a pet. We all know this may have increased significantly during the lockdown. The director’s household welcomed Coco Grey a British Shorthair last month (a lockdown pet for the kids).
The same statistic also suggests that now, roughly one in five homes is occupied by a pet-owning family. So, that means there should be more pet-friendly real estate to go around, right?
Yes. The unfortunate reality is that finding a renting accommodation that will take your pet with you is every bit as tedious as it always has been. 80% of pet owners experience problems finding a rental property. For most landlords letting a pet in the property is a gamble. And, if you do find a property that tolerates fluffers, chances are that the owner will request a second security deposit, in addition to the one you already have to pay as a tenant.
Even worse, some landlords will only allow pets of certain breeds, weight, or may favour either dogs or cats only. Finding themselves at a crossroad, many pet owners are thus forced to either:
Gift their pets to a good friend;
Take them to a rehoming centre;
Put them to sleep.
However, there are several things you can do to significantly improve your chances of meeting a landlord who likes (or at least doesn’t mind being around) pets. Here is what you need to do.
Do Your Research Well in Advance
This may seem a bit obvious, but it’s worth pointing out. Give yourself enough time to properly search for a place that answers your personal needs and that of your pet. You are much more likely a suitable property and will have the chance to back off of a few offers before putting your back against the wall.
By acting on time, you will also make the process of finding and moving into a new place much less stressful for you and your furry buddy. You will have enough time to go between properties and gradually move luggage and prepare your new home.
Manage Your Expectations
When scanning the area or even a neighbouring town for a new place to call home, ensure that you have realistic expectations. For example, while it might be reasonable to look for a large yard that features a dog house as a Bullmastiff owner, you will be hard-pressed to find a landlord who will be able to fulfil your specific requirements.
A much better strategy is to keep your options open and discuss your needs with the owner when you both meet in person. You’d be surprised how big of a negotiating power you have, when the landlord is desperate to avoid another empty month.
Win the Letting Agents Over
There are many letting agencies out there who are truly passionate about helping pet-owning families land a good deal. If you’re working with an letting agency (and it might be a good idea, given your situation), try to win their hearts first by telling them a bit about your pet and showing them just how cute and harmless he/she is. If presented right, your agents will do their best to persuade homeowners that your application is worthy of their consideration.
Show Your Landlord that You Can Be Trusted
It’s all about making a great first impression.With the right documentation, proving that you are a responsible tenant should be a breeze.
For example, you need to show them that you have a stellar credit record. If you lived in other rental properties before, you can also present a reference from your previous landlord to prove that you are paying your rent and all other associated bills in their full amount and on time.
All of these (and a lot more) will be checked either way, when the agent performs a referencing on you. But having them with you on your first meeting with the landlord could help you pull the scales your way.
Ask about the Love Your Postcode Pet Policy
Since 2010 our group has been providing pet cover in-house for it’s clients. So this month we’re celebrating ten years of a pet friendly approach to renting. It’s just another why our property group is leading the Midland’s property market by creating in demand products that underwrite risk for landlords.
Provide All Necessary Pet Documentation
Make a folder of all important pet documents and hand them over to the property owner.
If you are missing a page or two, make sure to stop by your local vet to get everything you need. To make it easier for you, here is a short checklist of everything your pet folder needs to include:
Up-to-date vaccination records;
Microchip and licence numbers;
A spay/neuter certificate;
Your vet’s contact information;
Recent photos of your pet(s).
You will also win bonus points if you provide a pet reference from your previous landlord which states that your pet is well-behaved and didn’t cause any property damage. You can even go one step further and attach pictures of your current rental property to your reference to show that not a single surface has been clawed, chewed up, or muddied with haphazard pawprints.
Speak to one of our teams about your requirements on 0800 862 0871 and do look out for our #letswithpets billboard campaign this month.
Our business always looks to promote something positive and inclusive in it’s branding campaigns. Last week we ran ‘Kids Deserve A Garden’. If you have any ideas, please do share them with us on our social media channels.