Renting with a pet
By Jo Eccles
We’ve seen an increase in tenants with pets and it can be a major sticking point if you’re looking to rent a property. If you do have pets, be upfront with estate agents from the start. The types (and number) of pets you have will be considered by a landlord on a case-by-case basis, but the agents will know which landlords are potentially receptive. There is no point in viewing properties where the landlord won’t accept pets as it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
As you go further out of the centre of London, we find more landlords are open to the idea of pets, but if you’re looking to rent very centrally, you may find this a sticking point. Many buildings even have clauses within the lease restricting pets in the building, so sometimes the landlord doesn’t even have a choice. If a landlord will accept a pet, be prepared to pay a bigger deposit against damage. Usually the deposit is six weeks’ rent, but if you have a pet, the landlord or letting agent may insist on eight weeks’ rent or more.
Some estate agents are very good at catering for pets, and will even have a search function on their website which allows you to search for pet friendly rental properties. One agent even suggests writing a pet CV and offers to help tenants draw one up!
If you do have a pet, make sure permission is written into the lease. You could offer to introduce your pet to the landlord if that gives the landlord added comfort. One of my colleagues has her pet named in her tenancy agreement. Equally, if you think you may get a pet during the tenancy, ask for a clause to be included within the agreement stating that your landlord will not unreasonably withhold permission.
Review the wording carefully. I checked one agreement for a client of ours who potentially wanted a dog at some point, but the agreement only gave permission for reptiles and made no mention of mammals, so we had to get that changed.
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