How to Find Pet-friendly Rentals in London
The pet relocation checklist is a long one: microchip, vaccines, pet passport or health certificate, transportation. Once you’ve successfully arranged for your furry friend to make the move to London with you, it’s time to find pet-friendly rental accommodation – which can be a challenge if you don’t know the rules or where to look.
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‘Pets’ is one of the top four things prospective tenants search for online – but the number of pet-friendly listings remains low: Only around 7% of landlords advertise homes as suitable for pets.
Here are some top tips to widen your pet-friendly property search in London, so you find a home that ticks all the boxes: right size, right garden, right location, right price.
How to Find Pet-friendly Rentals in London
Don’t leave your property search until the last minute. Thanks to online property rental platforms – like Zoopla, OpenRent, and SpareRoom – you can start your search on your sofa before travelling to London.
Most platforms allow you to filter properties which are listed as pet friendly. For example, if there are pet-friendly properties to rent in your search area on Zoopla, a ‘Pets Allowed’ tick box will be displayed under ‘Letting Type’.
Don’t be afraid to ask
If a property you love is not listed as pet-friendly, don’t give up hope of calling it home. The landlord might just need a bit of persuading about your pet – and there are things you can do to put them at ease.
- Ask the letting agent to contact the landlord on your behalf with your request.
- Provide the landlord with your pet’s medical details: pet passport, vaccinations, flea and worming treatments, microchipping, neutering confirmation.
- Provide the contact details of your vet.
- If you’ve rented before, ask former landlords for references to prove that your pet is well-behaved.
- Provide evidence of any behaviour training your pet has undertaken.
- Introduce your pet to your landlord (in writing, by email, or even with a video call!)
What are the rules?
In 2020, then Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced an overhaul of the model tenancy contracts. He called on landlords to make it easier for responsible tenants to live with well-behaved pets in their rental homes.
Mr Jenrick said: “Pets bring a huge amount of joy and comfort to people’s lives, helping their owners through difficult times and improving their mental and physical well-being… So, I’m overhauling our model tenancy contract to encourage more landlords to consider opening their doors to responsible pet owners. And we will be listening to tenants and landlords to see what more we can do to tackle this issue in a way that is fair to both.”
The aim is to encourage landlords to be more open towards tenants who own well-behaved pets and to discourage total bans on pets unless there are valid reasons to do so. Under the rules, landlords can say ‘no’ if they think the pet will cause a nuisance to neighbouring households or cause damage to the property.
The government’s revised model tenancy contracts for renters, which can be used as the basis of lease agreements made with tenants, ensure more landlords are catering for responsible pet owners wherever possible.
Unfortunately for now, this model tenancy agreement is not obligatory to use for landlords.
Once you’ve found the right home for you and your pet, you’ll both settle into life in London in no time.
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