Pet-friendly rentals are growing in popularity, as reflected by Zoopla’s latest analysed search data from its keyword property search tool, which revealed the nation’s most sought-after features of a rental home.
The research found that the search term ‘pets’ ranked as the third most popular across Great Britain on the firm’s multiple property-related websites.
The findings compliment separate research recently undertaken by SpareRoom, which showed that almost four out five tenants who own at least one animal have struggled to find pet-friendly accommodation.
The study 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.
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.