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More pet-friendly rental properties needed, says SpareRoom

Almost four out five tenants who own at least one animal have struggled to find pet-friendly accommodation, according to new research.

The study by SpareRoom revealed that 78% of tenants have found it difficult to find pet-friendly accommodation, mainly because the majority of landlords are unhappy about tenants keeping pets and refuse to allow them as a matter of course.

According to the research, more than two thirds - 69% - of landlords will not allow pets in their properties, which largely explains why one in five - 21% - tenants surveyed said that they now keep a pet without their landlord’s knowledge.


Landlord’s cited smell (57%), potential damage to the property (55%) and concerns they will not be trained (37%) as their main reasons for not allowing pets in their properties.

Despite landlords’ reservations, 88% of pet owners claim they have never experienced any complaints and that their pets have never caused damage to the property.

To help address the shortage of pet-friendly rental accommodation in this country, SpareRoom has joined forces with charities RSPCA and Crisis, landlord representatives, economists, vets and property professionals to launch the first ever think tank for pets.

SpareRoom also plans to employ cats and dogs as ‘research assistants’, to help better educate landlords to emphasise the positive effects that pets can have on tenants and properties.

The purpose of the think tank for pets is to develop ideas and policy suggestions to encourage more landlords to consider allowing pets into their properties – an issue that is becoming ever more important in the era of ‘generation rent’.

The potential benefits of allowing more pets in rented properties include increased income for landlords, as well as improved physical and mental wellbeing for tenants, a reduction in the number of pets that end up in rehoming centres and even a potential reduction in homelessness.

Out of the tenants that already own a pet, 53% of these stated that they pay between £10 and £49 extra rent per month to allow their pet to live with them, with 32% paying between £50 and £99 extra per month.

Matt Hutchinson, communications director for SpareRoom, commented: “With more of us renting our homes it’s vital we have a conversation about what that means for quality of life. We know that allowing pets into rented homes can be particularly beneficial - and in more ways than people might think.

“Pets can be a source of higher rental income for landlords, but they can also improve the wellbeing of tenants, reduce the number of pets given up for rehoming or, worse, abandoned, and they can even have an impact on reducing homelessness.

“Ultimately, there’s no reason tenants shouldn’t be able to live with pets, subject to certain relevant conditions and checks being in place. By finding the obstacles and removing them, as well as seeing the positives, not just the negatives, we should be able to make it much easier for people to have a pet, whether they own their home or not.”

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Poll: Are you willing to let to tenants with pets?


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    Not only have I had my property damaged in the past by pets, but after the fee ban I wont be able to charge a pet deposit (fully refundable if no damage is caused) so this situation is only going to get worse. No pets in my properties at all now despite having pets of my own.

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    Simple,,, tenant dont want to pay to cover their pet damage, fleas etc then they dont rent. And if found to have a pet on Inspection time without permission then their tenancy is terminated, so very simple.

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    Until they can buy their own properties they shouldn't expect all the privileges that come with ownership. Until I can afford to fly 1st class I accept that I don't get free champagne.

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    We've had a three storey staircase with each spindle chewed by a dog, carpets peed and poo'd on in every corner by various pets, a big american fridge freezer door turned rusty by a small dog cocking its leg up it nightly, overgrown lawns left with months of excrement in long grass for us to clear up, issues with smells and hairs left in upholstery, beautiful wallpaper scratched back to bare wall by cats, neighbour complaints about dogs (which under some authority licensing laws places the liability to resolve on the landlord not the tenant!). Allowing pets should remain the property owner's choice. In shared houses (HMO room lets) it is unfair on other occupants to allow any pets anyway because it impacts all users living in the same property.

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    When the Tenant Fee Ban Bill comes into force, I won't be taking pets anymore. Pet owners need to start a campaign to increase the limit on deposit size.
    If a tenant keeps a pet without permission, they can expect to get a section 8 or 21 notice pretty quickly.

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    Your property your rules. No pets end of and if found to have on Inspection serve notice.

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    I will consider pets, small dog or cat, but i require an increased deposit, so what happens when this cap comes on deposits ? either no pets or an increased rent, and as others have said, a pet without permission = eviction asap.


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