We think of ourselves as a nation of animal lovers, but it’s not something we alone label ourselves. It is a reputation that extends all around the world.
Historically, Britain was the first country in the world to implement animal protection laws, with legislation put in place as far back as 1822.
And today, we are as obsessed with our pets as we ever were.
A lot of pets
The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association estimates that in the UK more than twelve million households have pets. Across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – from Penzance to Peterhead, Cardiff to Coleraine – we love our furry friends, big and small.
This would suggest living with animals is totally normal and easy, right? Well, not if you rent.
Surprisingly, just 7% of landlords advertise homes as suitable for pets. So, are we not as animal friendly as we thought?
Why do so few landlords allow pets?
It should be noted that whilst a landlord may not actively advertise their property as pet friendly, this doesn’t mean it won’t be considered, so it is always worth asking.
Weighing up the pros and cons
Many landlords prefer tenants not to have pets because of the disruption they can cause.
As a landlord, it is essential to maintain positive relationships with those neighbouring your property and a tenant’s dog barking at unsociable hours, for example, could be an inconvenience.
Although the majority of pets are neither untidy nor destructive, it’s the sad truth that some are. This has much to do with their owners. Irresponsible tenants have been known to let excitable animals run amok in rented houses, damaging both the property and the furniture within.
But, as we’ve established, it’s a minority of irresponsible pet-owning tenants who hold back the majority. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has called on landlords to make it easier for responsible tenants to have well-behaved pets in their homes. And we suggest the same.
More money in landlords’ pockets?
Recent data suggests that a third of UK tenants would be willing to pay an additional £40 per month in rent for a ‘pet-friendly’ property.
What’s more, a fifth of English households are in the private rental sector now, and this number is increasing. As a result, the demand for pet-friendly homes is increasing too.
Over the last 12 months, the average rent achieved for properties let in Central and East London was £1,815 per month, a 5% increase on the previous 12-month period. But it may be possible to improve even on this figure.
It is still a very competitive rental market, so the landlord that uses the bonus of accepting pets as an incentive may well attract great tenants over their competitors.
Whatever you choose to do regarding renting to those with animals, Stirling Ackroyd can offer valuable advice and assistance on this and every other aspect of letting your property.