We are a nation of animal lovers and collectively own millions of pets. Many kids grow up dreaming of their first dog or cat and some households are home to an incredible number of animals. But if you live in rented accommodation, a pet might be out of the question. It isn’t headline news that landlords don’t like pets but recent research suggests that the situation might be worse than you think.
Pet-Friendly Rental Accommodation in London
The Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) commissioned a study of rental properties to ascertain how many were pet friendly. The data was gathered from Zoopla and reveals that it is incredibly difficult to find a home to rent if you have a pet.
The research was focused on London and the data was collected over a four-week period to provide a snapshot of the situation in the capital. Kensington & Chelsea proved to be the most pet-friendly borough but had just 159 rental properties which welcomed pets out of the 5,587 homes available. That means that just 3% of the available accommodation was pet-friendly.
The City of London
But Kensington and Chelsea is an expensive place to live and would be out of the reach of many prospective tenants. The situation was worse in other boroughs. In the City, there was only one pet-friendly property available and in Sutton, to the south, there were only three. London isn’t unique in this regard. The situation is repeated around the country.
It is predicted that a quarter of all homes will be rented by 2025 and this spells bad news for pet lovers.
Landlords Don’t like Pets
Landlords are clearly concerned that their tenants’ pets could damage their property or its contents. As many landlords have found themselves the victims of poor tenants who fail to pay the rent or trash their properties, you can understand their concerns. But they could be making a big mistake.
American research has shown that people with pets tend to stay in their rental properties for longer. The search for a new tenant is something which no landlord relishes and void periods (periods when the property is vacant) are very costly. Perhaps landlords should consider accommodating pet owners as it could reap them impressive rewards.
Higher Rents for Pet Owners
Many renters would probably be prepared to pay a premium for a home which was pet-friendly and so landlords could be missing a trick here. It is certainly the case that pet-friendly holiday lets tend to be booked up quickly. With such a high percentage of UK households owning pets, the demand for pet-friendly accommodation will always be there whether people are seeking holiday homes or permanent homes.
Pets Top Tenants’ Wish Lists
LSL Property Services recently surveyed over 3,000 tenants to find out what features and facilities they would most like to be included in their rental property. The tenants were also asked how much extra they would be willing to pay on top of their normal monthly rent to get their wish.
The research found that it was pets which topped tenants’ wish lists, with 28% willing to fork out an average of £24 more per month extra to be able to live with their furry friends.
We have quite enough divisions in society without 25% of the population being excluded from keeping pets!