Dogs Trust set up Lets with Pets in 2009 in response to the number of dogs being brought to their centres for rehoming due to housing problems.
The scheme aims to show the benefits of letting properties to pet owners, as well as offering free information and support to landlords and letting agencies to make the process simpler. It also provides advice to people with pets looking for suitable rented homes.
With almost half of the UK’s population owning a pet and industry experts predicting 1 in 5 homes may be privately rented by 2016, more ‘pets considered’ rented homes are desperately needed.
With this in mind Lets with Pets has launched the 3A’s campaign to encourage more letting agencies to join the scheme. The campaign asks letting agencies to:
‘Ask’ all their landlords if they would consider letting to pet owners
‘Advertise’ which of their properties may be available to people with pets
‘Add’ a pet clause to their tenancy agreements with details of the agreed pet
Landlords often have concerns about renting their properties to pet owners so to help pet owners be as successful as possible in their search for a rented home the Lets with Pets team have come up with some Top Tips:
1. Don’t leave it to the last minute
Give yourself plenty of time to find a pet-friendly rented home and begin searching at least 8 weeks before you need to move out of your current home.
2. Be as flexible as possible on location and property type
Being as flexible as you can will increase your chances of finding a pet friendly rented home for you and your pet.
3. Offer to pay a higher deposit
Many landlords are concerned about pets causing damage to their property or furnishings. By offering to pay a higher deposit, you will reassure the landlord that should this occur it will be covered.
4. Offer to pay a pet payment
Some landlord’s worry that pets will lead to fleas, pet hair and dirty carpets at their property. Offering a non-refundable ‘pet payment’ to pay for a professional clean when you move out will help put any landlord’s mind at ease.
5. Market your Pet to Landlords
One way of increasing your chances of finding a suitable rented home with your pet is by showing landlords you are a responsible pet owner. Use the free resources on the Lets with Pets website to put together a pet information pack:
6. Be honest, never hide your pet
It’s never advisable to try to keep a pet ‘hidden’ from your landlord as in the worst case it could mean the end of your tenancy! Always be honest about your pet right from the start.
7. Get written permission
If the landlord has agreed to you keeping a pet ask for the ‘no pets’ clause to be removed from your tenancy agreement and a clause with the details of your pet to be added. This will prevent future misunderstandings.
8. Raise awareness of Lets With Pets
By spreading the word about our scheme you can help us encourage more landlords and letting agencies to consider renting their homes to people with pets.
9. Look out for ‘Pets Considered’ sticker on Rightmove
Lettings Agents can now promote their pet-friendly properties using a red ‘Pets Considered’ sticker. The sticker makes it easier to find properties on Rightmove where the landlord would consider letting to a pet owner.
The scheme also receives support from TV personality and landlord Jasmine Harman.
Jasmine Harman says:
“As a pet-friendly landlord myself, I am delighted that Dogs Trust is looking after the interests of renters with pets. Times are tough and people are finding it difficult to get on the property ladder, so renting is increasingly becoming the only option. In my experience, many landlords would be happy to consider pets but some lettings agencies could do more to find out if pets would be considered.”
Susie Jones, Development & Relationship Coordinator at Dogs Trust, says:
“Dogs Trust knows from experience that some people will go to extraordinary lengths not to be parted from their pets. People have moved areas or rented larger homes than they need simply to keep their pets with them. We hope that the Lets with Pets 3A’s campaign will encourage and support more landlords and letting agencies to take up a ‘pets considered’ approach to letting their properties.”