If you are an animal lover, you may find yourself struggling to find a rental property that accepts pets. Some landlords are very reluctant to accept pet owners as tenants, so it can be a very stressful experience if you are trying to find somewhere to live. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up, as there is the perfect home out there for you and your pets. To help you find the right property for your needs, the team at Hancock and Partners have put together this blog to discuss some of our tips for finding a pet-friendly rental property.
Government support for tenants with pets
Earlier this year, Housing Secretary Robert Jendrick announced plans to update the government’s model tenancy agreement to remove restrictions on well-behaved pets making it easier for tenants to find pet friendly properties. This is welcome news for the increasing number of families in rented property who are more likely to own pets and currently face a situation where only 7% of landlords advertise homes as suitable for pets. Look out on the Hancock and Partners blog for details of when the revised model tenancy agreement is published by the government later this year.
Pet-friendly rentals are still relatively rare in the market, so it is important to be realistic about what sort of property you are looking for as the demand is huge. We recommend keeping your options open and timing the house search right, as last-minute searching could restrict you even further. When looking at the specific aspects of a property, you may also need to compromise to cater for your furry friend.
Look for pet-friendly features
One of the main reasons why landlords can be reluctant to accept pets in a property is due to the damage they may inflict. For example, the scratching, chewing and fouling by animals on a carpeted room could be detrimental to the property’s value, so landlords often prefer their investments to be pet-free. Animals can also cause noise nuisance which could lead to complaints from neighbours. However, when looking for a new place to live, keep an eye out for more pet-friendly features, such as a big garden and laminate or wood flooring, as your landlord may be more open to allowing pets if they are less likely to cause any damage – even if they don’t specify it in the property description.
Prepare to pay more
If your potential landlord is more open to allowing pets in their property, you need to be prepared to pay slightly more in your monthly rent to cover any extra costs that may be incurred for cleaning and repairs at the end of your tenancy. You may be surprised, as just offering a slightly higher price can really sway them in their mindset and might make all the difference. This is important as landlords are no longer able to charge a higher pet deposit, which would have covered any damage potentially caused by the pets during the tenancy.
Introduce your pet to the landlord
From the beginning, you need to be completely upfront with your landlord about having a pet to prevent any problems further down the line. If you are not honest with them, you could find yourself in trouble as this is a breach of your tenancy agreement and the landlord could give you a bad tenant reference in the future. The last thing you want is for the landlord or managing agent to discover your pet while on a property inspection, or due to complaints from the neighbours. One of the ways to put your landlord at ease with the idea of having a pet in the property is to invite them to meet your pet in advance in your current home. This gives them the opportunity to see how they interact with strangers and generally how well behaved they are.
Create a CV for your pet
In preparation for your move day, you also have the option to create a CV for your pet which will highlight to potential landlords that you are a responsible pet owner, how well your pet behaves and whether they are up to date with injections. This document should cover the basic details of your pet, the name, age, sex, breed, general behaviour and an image. You could even add a reference from your previous landlord, which will prove that the previous property is in good condition and the pet is not going to cause damage.
Would you like help from an estate agent in Chichester?
If you are looking to find a pet-friendly property in Chichester or elsewhere in West Sussex, the Hancock and Partners team is experienced in letting and managing properties where pets are allowed. We are a leading independent estate agents in Chichester founded back in 1991, and we would be more than happy to help you find the dream home you have always wanted for you and your pets. You can call us on 01243 531111 and a friendly member of our team will be in touch.