Letting agents have reported huge surges in demand for pet-friendly properties.
Richard O’Neill, managing director at Romans Lettings, says: “There has certainly been an increase in demand for pet-friendly homes over the past year, which we attribute to the pandemic and a resultant shift in priorities.
“People, more generally, have been looking for bigger, family homes, and these demographics tend to enjoy the companionship of a pet living alongside them.
“Furthermore, where more people are spending more time in their homes and now have more space, it is likely that they are fulfilling past ambitions of owning a pet and now feel as though they have the environment and lifestyle to facilitate that.”
And Ian Gibbs of Get Living, the management firm running the East Village rental community in London, adds: “Over the past year, we’ve seen residents and prospective residents’ priorities changing … We’ve also seen a substantial increase in people looking for a home that allows cats or dogs. Get Living became pet-friendly across all its neighbourhoods last summer, and one fifth of potential residents mention pets specifically as part of their requirements.”
The comments come as Rightmove reports that demand for pet-friendly rental properties has increased by 120 per cent compared to last summer.
The significant increase in demand for a pet-friendly rental property – measured by prospective tenants enquiring about properties via Rightmove - highlights the rise in pet ownership during the lockdown periods, the portal says.
The jump compares to total tenant demand rising by just 13 per cent.
The search for more outdoor space has led to demand for properties with a balcony increasing by 70 per cent, and gardens are up by 39 per cent.
Parking has also increased in popularity - demand up 48 per cent - and one of the most common requests from renters, for all bills to be included, is up by 38 per cent.
However, it is the surge in interest for pet-friendly accommodation which appears to dwarf other areas of growth in demand.
Rightmove’s director of property data, Tim Bannister, says: “The rise in pet ownership during the lockdown periods has been well documented, and we’re seeing this translate to the rental market.
“Becoming a pet owner is a long-term commitment, so what’s really interesting to consider is the impact this could have on the rental market in the future, and it’s a signal to landlords that if they were to consider allowing a well-behaved pet then it may open them up to a bigger pool of potential tenants.”
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