Last week Jeremy Corbyn unveiled a draft animal welfare policy, which included plans from Labour to make it mandatory for tenants to be allowed to keep pets in rental properties. However, property management franchise Belvoir, which has over 300 High Street offices, has many landlords who already support this initiative, and has some top tips to help tenants secure a rental property with their pets.
“For some years now many of our franchisees have worked with the Dogs Trust, which has produced some strict guidelines for landlords and tenants on the Lets with Pets section of their website,” says Dorian Gonsalves, CEO of Belvoir. “By applying this advice, together with some common sense, many of our landlords are very happy to accept tenants with pets. From a business point of view, with over 12 million pet owners in the UK, a landlord would be missing a trick to exclude this huge section of the market as potential tenants.”
Belvoir’s top tips:
- Check out the Lets with Pets section of the Dogs Trust website (http://www.letswithpets.org.uk/) to find everything you need to know about privately renting with pets.
- Be aware that some landlords are unable to accept pets because of leasehold or mortgage restrictions, so be as flexible as you can about location and the type of property. Be realistic, and do not expect a landlord to accept a large dog such as a husky into a small apartment where the dog will not have enough space and could develop behaviour problems.
- Try to find a professional letting agent that supports the Lets with Pets scheme and can help you to find the perfect property for you and your pet. To avoid disputes at the end of a tenancy ensure that a full inventory of the property is undertaken before you move in.
- Write a CV for your pet. Include details of his age, breed, background, whether he is neutered, any training he has had, whether he is microchipped and regularly treated for fleas and vaccinated against disease. Make it clear how long your pet is likely to be left alone each day, and if necessary arrange for a dog walker to exercise him whilst you are working.
- If your pet has already happily lived with you in a rental property, ask your previous landlord to write a reference that you can show to a new landlord. If possible, invite your new landlord to meet your pet. This is a perfect opportunity to prove that you are a responsible owner.
- Be prepared to pay a higher deposit to cover the cost of any damage to a property or furnishings. You may also be asked to take out some type of insurance to cover the possibility of damage.
- Offer to pay for the property to be professionally deep cleaned at the end of your tenancy, so that it is restored back to its original pre-tenancy condition.