Renting a home with your dog

One in four households in the UK have a pooch to call their own, so why is it so difficult to find a place to rent with your four-legged friend?

No fur here please

As the biggest dog-loving country in the world, you’d think it would be a bit easier to find somewhere for you and your pup to call home. Yet it’s almost impossible to find decent dog-friendly places to rent in the UK – and the problem is growing.

Common complaints from property owners include worries about lingering dog smells, scratched floors and ruined furniture. Thanks to modern technology, you can keep a closer eye on your dog’s needs and behaviour these days – but it’s probably not enough to convince your landlord.

Dogs are the real losers

It’s never been easy to find a pet-friendly rental, but due to the recent rise in house prices over the last decade and a continuing shortage of available homes, it’s predicted that by 2025 a quarter of all homes will be rented. Add to the mix those people selling their houses fast before the market dips and you get a glut of pet-owning renters looking for a place to live.

So what does this mean for dogs? Well it’s not good news – because landlords are reluctant to rent their properties to dog owners, more and more people are being forced to give up their beloved pets in order to find a suitable place to live. A heartbreaking situation for dogs and owners alike.

Lets with Pets

 In 2009, Dogs Trust set up the Lets with Pets scheme in a bid to slow down the amount of dogs being brought into their centres for rehoming due to housing problems. The scheme aims to show landlords and letting agencies the benefits of letting properties to pet owners, offering free information and support to make the process simpler.

A smart move when you consider just how many potential renters they’re excluding by refusing to allow dogs in their properties.

Is owning an option?

Obviously, the easiest way to avoid the pitfall of no-pet properties is to buy your own place – but it’s not always an option in the UK’s notoriously expensive market. Getting a foot on the housing ladder is harder than ever, thanks to a stagnant market and often prohibitive costs. It looks like renting is here to stay.

Tips for securing a dog-loving landlord

Don’t leave it to the last minute. Leave yourself at least 8 weeks before the end of your current tenancy to start the search. Be as flexible as possible on your location and the type of property you’d like to rent – now is not the time to be picky!

Because many landlords are concerned about dogs causing damage, why not offer to pay a higher deposit? That way, you’ll give them some reassurance that the cost of any potential damage will be covered. You could also offer to pay a non-refundable ‘pet-payment’ for a professional clean when you move out to put your landlord’s mind at ease.

Let your landlord meet your fluffy friend beforehand – and never keep your dog hidden. Be honest from the start and make sure you’ve got written permission in your tenancy agreement by asking for the ‘no-pets’ clause to be removed.

Market your dog

Lets for Pets recommends writing your dog a CV with as much information as possible in it – things like its latest worming dates and flea treatments – to keep your landlord reassured. Or you could share your pet’s profile using PoochPlay, a comprehensive and easy to update app that keeps track of all your dog’s important stats and information.

If you can, get a reference from a previous landlord or a vet to demonstrate your dog is well behaved and cared for. You could even try asking your current landlord if they have any other pet friendly properties, or know someone that does.

Finally, look out for the ‘Pets Considered’ sticker on Rightmove. Letting agencies can now promote their dog-friendly properties and make it easier for you to find a great new home for you and your furry best friend.