With the threat of recession forcing increasing numbers of Brits to downsize or rent property, and the credit crunch affecting pet owners, there is a very real risk that thousands of pets could be abandoned or handed over for rehoming to charities such as Dogs Trust.
We are accustomed to receiving many dogs from owners reluctantly handed them over as a result of being unable to find pet-friendly rental properties. Several of our Rehoming Centres have already reported increases in calls about help with vet bills or rehoming due to financial woes.
In response, Dogs Trust has launched Lets With Pets, a campaign that will see us working with the lettings industry to demonstrate how pet inclusive tenancy agreements can benefit both landlord and tenant.
Over 1,400 responded to the survey throughout June. The results were alarming:
* 78% of pet owners experienced difficulties finding privately rented accommodation that allowed pets
* 54% did not find anywhere that allowed pets
* 14% kept their pet without landlord’s knowledge or consent
* 11.4% rented an unsuitable property in order to keep their pet
* 8.5% rehomed their pet to friends, family or a rescue centre
* 8.2% bought property, did not move or are still looking
* 0.4% had their pet euthanised
* 47% of landlords gave tenants no reason why pets were banned
* The UK’s least pet-friendly landlords live in the West Midlands – 83% of pet owners had difficulty finding accommodation
* Northern Ireland has the most pet-friendly landlords – but 66% of owners still have problems finding rented accommodation
* Things are no better for other pets – 65% of cats are banned and 10% of private landlords even ban fish!
Dogs Trust Chief Executive Clarissa Baldwin explains:
“Pet owners who need to rent privately are being forced to live in unsuitable properties, or rent with their pets without consent from their landlord. Even though a dog is for life, in some extreme cases owners are having to give up their beloved pets or else face becoming homeless.
‘We are consulting with the Association of Residential Lettings Agencies (ARLA), other professional housing bodies and letting agents to develop Lets with Pets, a UK-wide campaign encouraging landlords to accept pet-owning tenants and help owners find the elusive pet-accepting landlord.”
Five Top Tips for Finding Pet-Friendly Accomodation
1. Write a ‘C.V.’ for your pet, so that your landlord can objectively consider if your dog may be suitable as a tenant. Consider including the following points:
* Your dog’s breed, size, age and activity level.
* If your dog is a purebred, include the breed’s positive breed traits.
* Try to highlight your dog’s history of good behaviour and house training.
* If your dog has attended and completed training classes.
* If your dog is neutered.
2. Get a pet reference from your previous landlord or letting agent and offer to pay a larger deposit to cover any damage.
3. Supply the details of your vet and provide proof of up to date vaccinations, worming and flea treatments
4. Tell your landlord how long your dog will be left alone in the property on a regular basis. It will help if you are able to state whether you will take your dog to work, arrange for day care or be at home with your dog most of the time
5. Stress that dogs are very effective as a burglar deterrent!
If you have any stories about successful or unsuccessful pet rental or have more tips to add (as a landlord or tenant), please add your comments below.