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How to find rental housing when you have a pet

How to find rental housing when you have a pet

We're a nation of pet lovers. But, sadly, landlords don’t always share our love for our furry four-legged friends. Many won't rent their property to pet owners. All of which becomes quite a problem if you're a dog or cat owner looking for rental accommodation.

On a brighter note there are landlords out there who will accept pets. It's just a matter of finding them. But how do you go about finding a rental when you have a pet?

Hopefully, we'll be able to give you a few pointers to help you out. But first...

Why some landlords won't accept pets

As hard as it is for animal lovers to accept pets do leave hairs and an odour. And cats in particular have a fondness for scratching skirting boards and furniture.  But dogs aren’t to be outdone. They can shred a door frame in double quick time.

All of which explains why some private landlords are reluctant to welcome pet owners as renters. And why others absolutely ban pets from their properties. Pets can cause damage and landlords will often have to redecorate when a dog or cat owning tenant moves out. All of this costs time and money. Not only in the cost of redecorating but also the lost rental income from the delay in bringing in a new tenant.

Don't risk breaking your tenancy agreement

With a pet-friendly property difficult to find it may be tempting for tenants to keep quiet about their cat or dog. If you're thinking about doing this - don't chance it.

If your tenancy agreement prohibits pets you face eviction if you do bring your cat or dog into the property. You could also lose some or all of your deposit. It really isn't worth the risk.

There are pet tolerant landlords out there

Despite the somewhat gloomy picture we've painted so far, finding a pet-friendly landlord isn't impossible. More landlords are now recognising the upsides to renting to tenants with pets.

Pet owners do seem to make good tenants. They often stay in a rental over the long-term providing the landlord with a steady income and they also tend to take extra care of their new home. Allied to that pet owners are often happy to pay a premium for a suitable property and an understanding landlord.

Finding a pet-friendly rental

There are a couple of ways of doing this. Firstly, those landlords who accept pets will announce this when they advertise their property. And it's easy to find these properties online. For example, when you search for a rental on MakeUrMove you can filter the results to include 'must accept pets'. The list of properties returned will all be pet-friendly. Happy days.

Alternatively, you can approach and negotiate directly with the landlord. The aim here is to convince the landlord you're a responsible pet owner who will take extra care of the property. You can help your case by providing references from previous landlords. This can be a powerful persuader to a landlord who may be flexible over whether to accept pets.

Other tactics you can use include taking your dog to meet the landlord and providing vaccination records. You could also gently remind the landlord you’ll be paying a security deposit to cover the cost of any damages.

So, renting with pets is possible. But you may have to search just a little harder.

Tenants – you can find your ideal property faster with MakeUrMove the online letting platform bringing landlords and tenants together.

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