The rise in the number of people living in private rented accommodation in recent years has created an unexpected number of victims: pets that buy-to-let landlords are refusing to permit in their properties.
With a number of landlords refusing to accept pets, many prospective find it difficult to secure accommodation, and so it is perhaps unsurprising that several tenants with pets find it easier to simply hide their furry family members altogether.
A survey of 2,000 renters revealed that 27% of UK renters have not informed their landlord that they have a pet before moving in to the rental property.
The study found that over half of respondents owned an animal before living in the property but 13% were left with no alternative but to rehome their pets.
Of the pets that were kept, 10% of tenants surveyed said they had to physically hide their pets before a visit from their landlord, for fear of serious consequences if they were found to be living with their pets without consent.
Last month, the National Landlords Association warned that new government plans to regulate the security deposit fees could force many landlords to ban pets from properties due to the increased risk of damage caused by the animal.
The survey by pet insurance provider AnimalFriends.co.uk revealed that almost a fifth of animals had caused damage to the property, with 12% damaging fittings and a further 6% ruining rented furniture.
Westley Pearson, managing director of AnimalFriends.co.uk, said: “It's important to ensure that you're able to properly look after any animals before you decide to bring one home with you and that includes making sure both you and your pet will have a place to live.
“Some dogs can live upwards of 13 years so even if you have a place to live at the moment, you need to think about what would happen should you decide to move.”