How to improve your chances of renting if you own a pet

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How to improve your chances of renting if you own a pet

A new study has revealed that more than 9 out of 10 landlords would not allow a tenant to keep a dog in their home. 

According to research from new business PetsScore, Only 7% of landlords allow people to rent with their pet dog, even though dog ownership is currently at an all-time high and more tenants are lying to their landlords about whether they have a pet following the boom in dog ownership during lockdown 

During the pandemic, households in the UK acquired around 3.2 million pets. Battersea Dogs Home received 40,392 applications from people offering to rehome a dog during the first three months of the first lockdown last year. That’s an increase of 53% from the previous three months and clearly indicative of the boom in pet popularity that we experienced during the pandemic.

PetsScore is a rating system for pets – like CheckaTrade for dogs and cats – that people can use if they are struggling to rent a home or even an AirBnB with their pet. It uses an online reference system that you can provide to letting agents and landlords to demonstrate that you are a responsible owner and that your pet is well-behaved. 

Dog at home photo by Chewy on UnsplashDog at home photo by Chewy on Unsplash

PetsScore founder Natasha Homer-Earley said she started her business after struggling to find a rented home with her four-year-old dog Daisy. As she explains: 

“Pet ownership is at an all-time high, getting on the property ladder has never been further out of reach for millions and there is a chasm between the availability of pet-friendly rental properties and the overwhelming demand for them,” she said.

“We want to be a force for change in a market traditionally weary of tenants with pets, making it easier for landlords to assess and measure, in a few clicks, the potential risk of a would-be tenant’s cat or dog.

“Increasing the number of pet-friendly rental properties is long overdue and is of critical importance for millennials in particular: 33% of this age group will rent for life, if they haven’t bought a home by 40.”

PetsScore is hoping to increase the amount of landlords who will allow pets to live in their rented properties. Pets are scored on factors such as potential to damage, noise nuisance and how responsible their owners are, so if your dog is well-behaved and doesn’t make a lot of noise then this will make it easier to find a rented home. 

Increase your chances of renting with your pet 

But what if your dog is a barker? Or worse, whines, howls of trashes the place when you are out at work? One of the biggest problems of the pandemic puppy boom is the fact that some dogs haven’t been left alone at all as more people have been furloughed or are working from home. This has led to a lot of dogs suffering from separation anxiety as their owners return to work and this can manifest in them making lots of noise when they are left alone chewing the furniture or soiling the carpets.

Saluki photo by Chewy on UnsplashSaluki photo by Chewy on Unsplash

Fortunately these kind of issues can be addressed with training so if you are planning on moving home it’s important to start working on this as soon as possible and gradually build up your dog’s tolerance to being left home alone.

When looking for a rental property, you can find pet-friendly properties listed. Make sure that you are willing to give as much information as you can about your pet, including their size, weight and habits. Your landlord or letting agent may wish to meet the pet before making a decision. If the property is furnished, give assurances that your dog will not shew or scratch the furniture or fittings. Some landlords may ask for a slightly higher deposit amount to cover any damage that a pet may do to the property.

If you’re struggling to find a suitable property in a city, consider moving to the countryside. The 7% given in the study is an overall figure of the amount of landlords not willing to rent, but of course, this will vary in different areas and rural landlords are more likely to let you rent with pets. So if the pandemic has changed the way that you work and you no longer need to go into the city to work, you may be able to work from home in the countryside, where properties are also generally larger, with gardens and more access to interesting walks. You could even get another dog!

Have you had trouble renting with your dog or cat in tow? Do you have any tips for approaching landlords when renting with pets? As always, let us know in the comments section below. 

Main photo by Jexo on Unsplash

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