Whilst finding the right home in London can already be a challenge for incoming expats, it becomes even more difficult if expats come over with a pet (cat or dog). We thought it might be useful to summarise what happens in these circumstances, and what to know before starting a London home search.
How to rent in London with a pet
1. Main rule: there isn’t any general rule
Landlords are not obliged, by law, to accept pets. It is down to the prospective tenant to negotiate with the potential landlord. This has to be done before signing the tenancy agreement, since 90% of standard leases will forbid any pets in the properties.
It is important to know that, in some buildings, particularly in Central London, pets are forbidden by the head lease (the contract ruling the entire building), meaning that no pets are allowed in the entire building, even if landlords were open to them.
2. The security deposit
The general rule is that the security deposit is increased from 4 to 5 weeks rent, in order to cover for possible damages to the property.
3. The difference between dog and cat
In general, it is easier to get a cat accepted by a landlord than a dog, as they are considered to be more quiet and cleaner. Cats also tend to attract less neighbour’s complaints than dogs, which is one thing landlords will try to avoid. If you bring a dog, the landlord will usually want to know its race, size and age.
4. House or apartment?
In general, it is easier to get a pet accepted for a house than for an apartment. Apartments mean neighbours – which can mean complaints made to the landlords.
Houses tend to come with an outside space. Landlords tend to think that reduces the risk of damage to the interior of the property.
5. The tenancy agreement
Most tenancy agreements will enable the landlord to withdraw their permission, in case of important damages, or problems with the neighbours. Therefore, it is important that the pet is able to behave in a manner that will not be a nuisance to neighbours.
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