Guide On Landlords And Pets

Pets

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Over the past 4-5 years, I’ve only had one tenant with a pet (which was a dog), and that was because it was forced upon me. Initially, my tenant didn’t move in with the mutt, it happened a year or so after she moved in.

One day I got a frantic phonecall from her, screeching down the phone, feeding me with a story about her ex-husband, who was on the verge of kicking their family Staffordshire Bull Terrier out of the house because he didn’t have time to look after her anymore. So I was basically left in a position where my tenant was willing to find another property to rent unless I allowed the dog to become a permanent resident. The bond between human and pet can often be unparalleled, right?

In retrospect, my tenant was a bit of a knob for putting me in a position like that. However, it just goes to show how passionate some people are about their pets. And, when someone is THAT passionate about their pet, the pet is usually well behaved and maintained. With that in mind, I took the gamble and allowed my tenant to move the beast into the property.

Fortunately, things worked out well. The dog was clean, well behaved, extremely friendly, and actually quite lovable.

When tenants/landlords discuss “pets”, they’re typically referring to dogs and cats. Dogs are the most common pets in the UK, and if there’s any type of household pet that is capable of destroying a house, my money is on a dog. Smaller pets like fish, hamsters and rabbits aren’t usually a problem. On that basis, I’m going to focus this article with the assumption we’re all here because we want to discuss tenants, landlords and dogs!

So, let’s look at the pro’s and con’s for allowing pets (typically, dogs), and you can make up your own mind…

Advantages of Landlords allowing pets

Nice Pets

  • Many landlords don’t allow pets, so finding one which does can often be a challenge, which means that landlords that allow pets can often ask for more rent.
  • Allowing pets opens up a lot wider audience, so you’re significantly increasing your chances of finding tenants. According to a recent survey by the Dogs Trust, 78% of pet owners have experienced difficulty finding accommodation which accepts pets. And according to ‘Pet Friendly Rentals’ by not accepting pets, you will be decreasing your potential market by 50%.
  • Tenants that are lucky enough to find a landlord that accepts pets will often make every effort to be an exemplary tenant so their tenancy agreement can be renewed. It’s a good hook to find a long-term tenant.
  • Dogs are a good form of security as they tend to respond badly to strangers, so they will form an extra layer of protection.
  • Disadvantages of Landlords allowing pets

    Horrible Pets

    • Pets can be destructive and messy, especially if they aren’t looked after properly.
    • Pets can smell, especially if their hygiene is neglected by their owners. From my personal experience, most dogs and cats leave behind a scent that are usually immune to the pet-owner. Just saying.
    • Pets can be disturbing towards neighbours e.g. dogs barking at unsocial hours. It’s important for landlords to keep healthy relationships with neighbours.
    • Many landlords are hesitant to allow pets as they may affect subsequent tenants who may have allergies.
    • After a tenant with a pet moves out, there maybe an extra financial cost involved for cleaning the property thoroughly.
    • Pets that don’t receive regular treatment are at high risk of catching fleas, which can quickly infest the property.
    • If you’re letting a furnished property, be wary that pets (especially cats, dogs and rabbits) are known to be destructive towards furniture e.g. sofas.

    Before accepting a tenant with pets

    • It might be worth meeting the pet and focus on how it acts around the tenant. It will also be a good opportunity to see how well behaved and healthy the animal is.
    • You may want to ask to see copies of your tenants pets treatment records from their vet so you’re assured that the animal is properly taken care of. This will reduce problems like infestation.
    • Try and get a reference from a previous landlord, where the tenant has lived with the pets.
    • Consider the suitability of the pet for your particular property. For example, a small dog in a small house may be fine, but not a large one.

    Tenancy Agreements & pet clauses

    • If you plan on allowing pets, it’s advised to get a Tenancy Agreement contract which specially has clauses for pets. There will be special clauses stating what the pet-owners responsibilities are e.g. ensuring the tenant is responsible for keeping litter trays clean. Here is a useful blog post on Tenancy Agreements and Pet Clauses
    • Good tenancy agreements will have a section to record a name and address and contact details in case of emergency. Alternatively, if the tenant goes on holiday.
    • If your tenant’s pet is causing a problems and breaching the terms in the tenancy agreement, then a Section 8 Form can be served to remove the tenant and their pet.
    • Landlords can request for a non returnable pet payment, which will cover the costs of a professional clean after the tenant moves out. This can be specified in the tenancy agreement.
    • It’s worth going over the conditions in the tenancy agreement regarding the conditions relating to pets, so the tenant is clear about what is expected.
    • Most landlords require a higher deposit where the tenant has a pet which is potentially destructive e.g. dog or cat. This is especially true when properties are furnished.
    • Do a thorough Property Inventory so there’s no confusion about what kind of state the property is in before the tenant/pet moved in. This is crucial.
    • Some landlords get tenants with pets to cover the cost of professionally cleaning the property once they have moved out. This can be written into the tenancy agreement- here’s more on pet clauses in tenancy agreements.

    Marketing your property as pet-friendly

    Pets Welcome

    • As already mentioned, it’s becoming extremely difficult for tenants to find landlords that allow pets. So it’s important that when you’re marketing your property for rent, you clarify that you do accept pets. This may drastically increase the level of inquiries you receive.
    • Since cats and dogs are the most common household pets in the UK, make sure you specify that you accept cats and dogs, and any other type of animal which you think will improve your campaign.
    • If you have any strict conditions (e.g. you require proof that the pet gets regular checkups at the vets), it maybe worth mentioning it, so you filter the unwanted applicants.

    Points to consider

    • If you evict a tenant and an animal is left in the property, it is the landlord’s responsibility to deal with it.
    • It’s important to make quarterly inspections of the property whether you allow pets or not, but especially if your tenant does have pets, so you can monitor how well behaved and clean the animal is.
    • You can use the tenant’s deposit to cover cost of cleaning the property if it isn’t returned in the same state as it was when he/she moved in.
    • Normal building and content insurance policies don’t usually cover potential pet damage, so you may want to get additional insurance.

    Conclusion

    I firmly believe that a dog is only as good as it’s owner. If you have a misbehaved dog, then you probably have a poor tenant. That’s why it’s extremely important to meet the pet and it’s owner before signing into an agreement. Judge for yourself.

    If you care careful with your selection, there is no reason why tenants with pets should be problematic. Even if the pet does cause irritation to the property, that’s what the security deposit is there for. Additionally, a good tenancy agreement that has the appropriate clauses for pets should protect you from most scenarios.

    I think the most appealing aspect about allowing pets is the larger audience you’re likely to attract. Essentially, you could find tenants a lot quicker if you allow pets, which will ultimately save you money.

    Do you allow pets?

    Just out of curiosity, do you, or would you accept pets as a landlord?

    Are you a tenant with a pet? Please share your story i.e. how difficult/easy was it to find a landlord that accepts pets?

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82 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 32 - 82 comments (out of 82)
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Anso 30th August, 2014 @ 00:18

Hi,

When I moved into my rented flat, I very soon realised the flat was infested with mice. They were everywhere and very disturbing and likely to cause hygenic trouble (they can't control their bladder and carry diseases). I contacted my landlord (through the management agency) to sort out this issue. They have put poison many many times (at the landlord cost) but it didnt work as it was only killing mice and more kept coming in over the months. The flat needed substanTial refurbishment to prevent any mice to come in at all - at a considerable cost for the landlord. I finally suggested to adopt my adorable twin cats and since then no mice! (Or occasionally under my window sill, dead! Good boys, aren't they?). I am sure this is a great point to make landlord accept cats.
But now I realise that if ever I would want to relocate I couldn't find a suitable flat which allows my cats. In France it is considered as legally abusive to forbide a pet in a rented property, sort of a human right to own a pet, I wish it was the same in the UK.

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Adri 31st August, 2014 @ 19:43

England is supposed to be a country of dog lovers, right? Pfff.. Our dog came to us, we didn't look for him..It was a tiny staffy cross pup that was removed from a property by the police as he was being beaten up. He needed a home for a weekend, I took him and now, year down the line I am looking for somewhere to move.. the amount of adverts that say 'no pets' is disheartening! We still have a few weeks but I am starting to panic... I understand landlords if they want to make sure they property does not get damaged but every time I have phoned an agency, I suggested higher deposit, references for my dog, willing to have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy but the answer so far has always been 'NO'. What is wrong with world?

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LordTom 23rd September, 2014 @ 19:43

Hey Guys,
We are two young professionals (I'm doing a full time degree and I work, and my partner runs her own business)and we have just asked our landlord for permission to get a dog.
They asked all the expected questions, what breed/size is she and how old is she and we have been completly honest. We stated that we are both experienced dog owners and the dog will very rarely be left on her own as my partner works from home.
We are also rescuing the dog from a dogs trust so we stated that she is speyed (so we wont be running a breeding shop) and she has a calm temperament.
The landlord/letting agents have asked us to sign a pet clause in our tenancy agreement (fine) and to give as many details about the dog as we can (which we already have) but they also want a £25 rise in our rent per month.
I have tried to comprimise by offering £25 for a fixed term that will be added to the security deposit for the end of our tenancy and assured them that we are not planning on leaving the home for the forseeable future (at least while I am at Uni for the next three years)
We have only lived in the property for 4 months but we have fallen in love with where we live (The Wirral) and really want to complete our family (we are both 26 and already have 2 cats [and we dont want kids]) the property was also completly unfurnished so all the sofas and stuff is ours.
What advice can I get from you guys and what could the ll/lagent realistically do?
£25 over the course of my degree is £900 and over the potential 10 year life span of Roxy is £3000. That money should be going on her; giving her the best life and keeping her healthy surely...

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Steve T 2nd November, 2014 @ 16:42

This country is bonkers. In most of Europe, the average person doesn't buy their home. Even in prosperous old Switzerland about 90% of people don't own their own homes. They rent long term and landlords are keen to get reliable tenants who look after their home whether they have pets, smoke or whatever. As long as they pay the rent and look after the property the landlord is happy. I am looking to rent and am willing to pay over £1,200 a month. I am willing to pay for any reasonable repairs or even improvements to the property (with LL agreement) myself. If I leave, I will have the place professionally cleaned and even replace carpets if necessary (not that it would be). I will pay to have the central heating/plumbing/electrics/white goods covered by a service agreement. I am a keen gardener so will maintain the gardens. I am a keen DIY'er so redecorating is no problem. I don't want to live in a smelly, dirty, poorly looked after house any more than anyone else does. What isn't there to like?
BUT...... we have 3 small dogs and 2 cats. All well behaved, friendly and house trained. They all get worm and flea treatment and are looked after by vets. We have lived in our present house for 17 years with dogs and cats and none of them has ever damaged the property. I am financially independent with a very good company pension and work part-time because I choose to (oops, does that mean that I am "on benefits") not because I need to. My wife doesn't work due to disability (but she is independently active) so the pets have company 24/7. The dogs are walked strenuously every day and we clean up after them whether it be outdoors or in the garden.
Were I renting my own house out, as I plan to, I will welcome pets, smokers and anyone who can prove they have a reliable income no matter where it comes from as long as they live by the same rules as I do.
What do landlords want? Or is it the letting agencies that impose these rules?

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Thunder Balls 2nd November, 2014 @ 17:46

Look..

Get the tenancy by not mentioning your pets.

If your LL boots you out after the fixed term .. find somewhere else..

Your LL can shaft you in any number of ways...you can shaft your LL a lot easier.

As for Cath above .. here we have a typical entitled LL. Reants property and 8 years later expects it to be in same condition complete with expensive carpets.... You will get some deposit back for ruined expensive carpets after 8 years IF you have receipt to show the Deposit company. If you didn't make any profit thats your fault not the tenants.

People being asked for extra rent when mentioning pet .. shaft your landlord in the future to get that cash back. A disrepair issue, move out sooner.

If you are upfront as a tenant you;ll get shafted by your Landlord. Demonstrate you are a decent tenant paying on time, maintaining property etc and if he wants to whine about your pets let him weigh that up against you leaving and him getting a nightmare tenant in.

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Steve T 3rd November, 2014 @ 00:51

Another point just came into my head. I have never rented before having either owned my own house or had access to company property abroad. My daughter HAS rented and most of the properties were sh&t holes with damage and disrepair being very evident. Yet all of these properties had "no pets" policies. It isn't pets that damage the place it is previous tenants or, dare I say it, landlords that fail to maintain the place to the standard that most decent people expect.

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Thunder Balls 4th November, 2014 @ 01:32

Exactly Steve. I can wreck a house in ten minutes and cause thousands of ££s of damage.

That's what landlords want to worry about not a good tenant paying the rent that has some pets.

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Anne 17th November, 2014 @ 08:48

What has happened to landlords and letting agencies in the last couple of years! Renting with pets never used to be a problem. Now it is a terrifying nightmare. The big point that landlords and letting agencies need to absorb, is that statistically, more and more people are living alone. This means, their pet is their 'only companion' and is essentially 'part of the family'. Most rescue and rehoming centres will tell you heartbreaking repeat stories, of tenants 'in floods of tears' being 'forced' to make the cruel and unfair choice between their much loved pet or a roof! Thousands of perfectly healthy, good pets are being euthanized and pet rehoming centres are 'bursting at the seams' and having to put people's pets on waiting lists to come in. Why? because of this relatively new attitude of letting agencies and landlords! I urge with all my heart for letting agencies and landlords to be more flexible and take advantage of downloadable 'Pet Tenancies' from the Dogs Trust Site. These protect both landlord, tenant and pet and keep everybody happy and together. There is absolutely no need to ban all pets. The way forward for Britain's landlords is Pet Tenancies where an additional deposit and tenancy for the pet is in place. This gives proof the pet is well cared for, vaccinated, neutered, and a deep clean is guaranteed upon vacating the property. So what's the problem landlords and letting agencies? Please consider letting with pets and stop this unnecessary heartbreak and immense pressure on charitable rehoming centres and finally stem the euthanization of thousands of pets.

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Thunder Balls 17th November, 2014 @ 11:03

Anne .. Councils don't help either. Homeless ? The council won't house you with your dog.

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Michelle 18th November, 2014 @ 18:52

Hi,

I am trying my best to find somewhere to rent with my partner and my small dog (he would literally fit into my handbag). My dog is extremely obedient, has ever caused me any trouble. I can have two previous LL references regarding the dog but it's still not good enough. We found a place we loved, shook on it and was coming back the next day to sign and pay deposit. Randomly decide to call the agent to let them know we have a small dog (thinking it would be fine) and were told no way. We offered to pay double the deposit (2800), sign a pet contract but still no.

My question is if it does not state on the advert no pets allowed should I even mention my dog?

Thanks in advance

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Ben 20th November, 2014 @ 23:57

Michelle - I was in exactly the same position as u. Then I found another property which I loved. The advert or estate agent did not mention anything about 'no pets' so I didn't enquire as to whether it would be permitted. As someone else mentioned, if they find out you have a dog, along as you have always paid your rent on time, and kept the property in a good condition, you can prove how responsible you are and hopefully win them round if they disapprove of having a dog in their property. That's the way I'm looking at it...and PLEASE god it works!!

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Thunder Balls 22nd November, 2014 @ 02:36

Ben and Michelle.

This is why you dont tell them.

They will get nowhere with Deposit protection ombudsmen but they obviously can ask you to leave after the fixed term.

A new Landlord wont be bothered, and in any case you can tell them the dog died etc if you have to...

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Haggy 26th November, 2014 @ 18:45

Lived in the same rented house for 13 years. Landlord happy for us to have cats, hens, pheasant. Landlord has agreed to us decorating house as we want and he will pay us back, which he has number of times. He lets us do what we want in the garden. Hubby fixes stuff in the house which saves him money. Rent is cheap and very much settled here with our 6yr old daughter. Previous tenants had 2 dogs. Asked if we can have a dog and the answer is no!! I have challenged this asking for the reason which I have had no reply as yet. Gutted and very confused. Surely a cat can cause more damage than a dog and more likely to bring in fleas etc. Have to accept his decision but finding it hard when he hasnt given a reason. We were due to go and see a dog this weekend too :-(

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Shelly 17th December, 2014 @ 13:03

Hi - I'm hoping to become a landlord soon - for the first time, and have just joined the site today! My house is in the SK14 area, and my house was put on the rental market last month. No takers as yet, but I believe it is a slow time of year for new tenants. I am an animal lover, and would have no objection at all to a well behaved pet. Hopefully this is the right attitude?

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zee 27th December, 2014 @ 21:15

Iv just re-rented the same property I did 16yrs ago with the same landlord. nothing on tenancy about having pets, so didn't think it was a problem. He has now found iv got a pup and is freakin out, im now having to have monthly inspections even though he has inspected the property since iv been here sept 27th moved in inspection 10th dec...said I had property lovely. But has now said he wants to do monthly inspections is this allowed?? and he ahs added another clause in the tenancy ???

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kelly 14th January, 2015 @ 21:55

I have to say, some people are dirtier and less behaved than pets. As a landlord I had a family with children, and the condition they left the flat was shocking, I had to throw away the sofa and carpets, paint the walls and redo the wooden flooring. Now I have family with a dog, I come around occasionaly and the place is spotless. So the message to all landlords, please consider pets, it is not necessary them that cause the damages!

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Jayney 28th January, 2015 @ 14:40

Echoing most of what I've heard here!
Looking for a pet friendly landlord / letting / managing agent in Crawley.
Found a lovely flat, landlady loves cats but managing agents dont and she is fearful of a £1k fine or something if they find out we've got a cat.
Anyone know of anywhere I can go?

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Miguel 10th February, 2015 @ 21:12

I'm a future tennant finding it very hard to find a flat where I can bring my cat in. What I find most surprising is that is not even a decision of the landlord. It because the landlord is really subleting and that no-pet rule is on the master lease and he can´t do anything about it. I can't believe that in a 5 or 6 story building with dozens of flats NO ONE has a pet. It can´t just be true.

I would be OK with a scheme that will not allow pets as default, but the tennant would have to get a pet license on a case by case basis, even if a special fee for that was needes. But just not allowing pets at all in the entire building just out of legal lazyness or just because I can't understand.

I just quit my job in my country whre I have my own house and moved in to the UK by professional reasons. My wife and our cat will move in later as soon as I find a suitable flat. We love our pet and it will cost us about £1K just to bring our cat together with us rather then ship it as cargo. Our kitten is part of the family is not cargo the way we see it.

I defo don't want to sneak the cat in so I want it to be clear on my tennacy agreement. but i never imagined this could be such a exausting process.

The UK is a great country and I love being here, but on some aspects, especially the letting market its just air pulling.

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Zara M. 30th April, 2015 @ 13:53

My partner and I are ideal tenants, both reliable, considerate professionals - but - we have a dog. It is so frustrating. Last weekend my partner travelled from London to East Grinstead in West Sussex to view a flat we had fallen in love with in Tobias Place, which is a very interesting eco-friendly community-vibe set-up. We were very excited about it.

We were told that the landlady was eager to have a dog in the community, which was why we travelled down to view the flat. We were informed a few days later that she had done a u-turn, despite expressing that we were the preferred tenants out of those who had viewed the flat, and had decided against pets. We didn't understand it, because she hadn't met us or our dog, or even spoken to us, it was all done through an agent who had been very positive about the whole thing. We discovered afterwards that the landlady had then moved to another agency, which we thought was a little odd, stating no pets :( So something, or someone over the weekend must have told her some kind of horror story about allowing pets, or else she did some research on the dreaded net and was put off.

We are moving out of London because my partner has accepting a new teaching position in the Ardingly College, but it's not looking good. Every place we have contacted so far has been anti-pets.

I do understand of course from the landlords' perspective, it's risky business allowing pets because of damage to the property and problems with neighbours - but isn't that what tenancy agreements and deposits are for?

The most annoying thing is that our dog is the sweetest little thing, non-destructive, sleeps most of the time, is pretty much supervised constantly anyway because I work from home, and is unusually clean for a dog - she doesn't smell, she's toilet trained, she's not noisy, she's well trained, we keep up to date with all worming and de-flea treatments... I could go on and on.

I don't feel that prospective tenants with pets are given a fair chance, which is a real shame because animals bring so much joy and purpose to people's lives, and they can have a really positive affect on the mental and physical health of human beings.

We still have some time, but living so far from where we need to move makes it very difficult to view places immediately as it is expensive and we work during the week. Properties go so quickly! Aargh...

Wish us luck...

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Benji 30th April, 2015 @ 19:27

@Zara,

I sympathise with your situation.

A possible reason for your prospective landlady suddenly doing a U turn is nothing at all to do with you.

The properties on that unique development are all leasehold.

Within many leases there is a clause stating clear restrictions on keeping dogs.

"the landlady was eager to have a dog in the community"

Implies there are no dogs already in the community- for the reason that they are restricted within the lease.

Perhaps she only just found that out over the weekend.

I have not seen the lease and could well be wrong but it would make sense.

In fairness, given how difficult it is to evict a bad tenant, it would be a reasonable restriction as that eco-community vibe could easily be destroyed by a rogue tenant with an unruly staffy.

Most houses (as opposed to flats) are freehold and it is entirely up to the landlord whether they take dogs or not. Best to concentrate your efforts there.

Good luck.

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Benji 30th April, 2015 @ 19:45

@Zara,

One other thought.

I'm presuming the teaching job starts in September? End of the holiday season. There are quite a few holiday lets that accept dogs in that area. An out of season let might appeal to those owners.

Before approaching them, thoroughly read up on the law about out of season lettings so you can put an offer to them. They might not be aware of the possibilities. Clearly you will be out on your ear when the holiday season starts again at Easter but it might give you some breathing space.

Good luck.

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Zara M. 30th April, 2015 @ 20:48

@Benji

My partner has just informed me that the lady (agent) who showed us around was actually the wife of the guy who owns the freehold, and she expressed that he was keen on the idea of having a dog within the community, which makes more sense seeing as he designed the complex. The landlady who has bought the flat and initially said she was happy with the dog then changed her mind without giving a reason, and then changed agents. All very odd. Otherwise, yes, it would have made sense what you have said about leaseholds and freeholds.

We do understand of course that it is the landlady's prerogative to change her mind, I have just found it frustrating because I don't understand why she changed her mind about the dog after we travelled down from London to view it under the impression it wasn't a problem, and also frustrated that we haven't had the opportunity to see if we could have an effect on her decision. I am trying to make contact through the new letting agents but i don't feel we will get very far. It's just a shame. And of course I am probably coming across as far too persistent - But perhaps you have to be when you are a dog owner, because it is so difficult to find rental property, it feels like you really have to fight for opportunities and make them happen.

Anyway, thank you very much for your suggestions regarding holiday lets - it is also something that I have been looking into (I have literally been racking my brains and looking for loopholes). We'll get there :)

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jen 7th July, 2015 @ 01:36

I am devastated. I am preagnant 25 weeks me and my partner have a 11 years old staffie and we have been told to leave property in August ! He gave us less then 2 months notice and we can not find anything since ! We are in Bristol. Paying rent on time make a house look better over year and half and now we need to leave ! And I am pregnant but I will not get rid off my best friend ! I have the dog from her 2 months and just think about to give her away is just heartbraking ! And there is no one who can help. I dont know what to do but I guess we become homeless and my unborn child will have to be homless too.

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Azzie 8th July, 2015 @ 18:45

So much easier in USA. In USA we had places which charge you an extra pet fee and hold you responsible for damage. Most don't care if you have a pet. We moved to Belfast and had a horrible time finding a place for our 2 small cats and us. We paid this LL a double deposit and we adore and take care of our inside only cats with scratching posts and plenty of play and exercise and the house is spotless and good as new.

We pay our rent early each month and go out of of way to never bother our LL. Now, we have to look for a place in Dublin due to job move and my head is spinning. This is a deal breaker for us, our cats have been with us for 3 countries now and we would pick them over any place. If forced in the end, I will lie, I don't want to, but we will need a roof over our heads and our budget of 1200 Euros should find something, but I won't lose our beloved cats. I really hope to find someone who likes good tenants with solid pay and no hassle,and with pets. Fingers crossed.

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Nicole 18th July, 2015 @ 10:58

We are going to move to England in about one and a half years time. Since we wanted to have an overview about the costs to expect when moving we already took a look at properties and so on and were very shocked that it is even legal to forbid pets, smokers and even children! We are coming from Germany and if a landlord tried to forbid a tenant to rent his flat, because he brings a cat with him, this would have gone to court because it collides with rights of the tenant. We have a lovely well-behaved 6 year old cat (a Norwegian Forest Cat, so a rather big one) and are thinking about getting a second one when we will be full-time workers (we are master students at the moment), but I came across your comments and experiences and now we are so shocked and unsure about finding a landlord who allows our cats.
Why do the estate agencies have so much power? It is the decision of the landlord who is allowed to rent his property or? We are a bit confused by the legal position in the UK would you be so kind to explain what the estate agencies have to do with this process?

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Afonso 18th July, 2015 @ 11:41

Hi Nicole,
I can feel you pain. I also moved to the UK recently and we have a cat. It took me almost 3 months to find a flat that both we liked and we could legally bring our cat in.
It is more complicated in London than in the rest of the UK really. The London market is really twisted.

I finally found a good inteligent landlords that allowed the cat. I moved to the UK first to secure the place before and I suggest you do the same. Don't just land here with the cat and try to find a place. You or your husband come in first, secure the flat and then move the family.

It is not entirely legal to blanket forbid pets or kids in most cases, but some landlords push it. But they can not legally write that in the agreement as it would not stand in court.
Although sometimes (especially the case with flats) flats are under a leasehold tenure, and the headlease contract does not allow pets in the entire building even if the landlord does. Both the landlord and you would be in breach of contract.

Its easier to be allowed a cat with freehold properties, because then its just the landlord´s decision. It helps to offer two extra weeks of security deposit and a professional cleaning of the flat/house when you leave.

But yes, the renting market in the UK, specially London is totally twisted. And I tell you a story I had while looking for a flat so that you can see what to expect.

I called an agency about a flat and booked a viewing. During the viewing I (as always) mentioned that I intended to bring a cat into the flat legally and asked them to check the headlease and the landlord if it was ok. And immediately offered the two extra weeks deposit and a professional cleaning in the end and offered the full asking rent price. Holding deposit was payed and credit and reference checks came out OK. We proceded to the agreement drafting and even got a pet licence from the building manager. 2 weeks into the process now. I was ready to sign the agreement and had flights and pet relocation services booked so that my wife and cat could join me and the landlord decided not to have the pet a could of days before the move in date. What a wordless SoB. I had to starting looking for another flat from scratch and had extra costs rescheduling flights.

In my home country and most of european countries if one the parties pulls back he is due to compensate the other. The tennant/buyer losses the holding deposit, and the landlord/seller has to return the deposit in double (the amount received inicially plus an equal sum, so that the stake is the same for both sides) Looks like here they can just turn arround.

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Nicole 18th July, 2015 @ 13:07

Hi Alfonso,

thank you very much for your fast reply! I heard a lot about the London house market in general and we have already decided that we will not go there anyway. We put an eye on the area around Bristol and Bath, because everything seems to be so beautiful there. Nevertheless, one can hardly find any property on the internet stating explicitely that they will consider tenants with pets, even if we are willing (and can afford) to pay a lot of money for a house there (we would be able to pay as much as £2000 per month on our rent), but it seems landlords are not interested to have tenants with a pet, they rather have no tenant at all.

What you are saying about your experience is horrible! How are they even allowed to cancel a contract two days before the moving? I really do not understand common law, I mean my husband to be is studying business law, but he is just shocked about the British legal system. It seems nothing is regulated by the government in detail.

It would be probably a lot easier just to buy a house instead of renting, but we do not know whether we will like our jobs or whether we have to move again, which is why we actually want to rent a house.

Do you think it is easier to make an appointment at an agency and let them search for a house or is it not common? We will definitely offer the landlord a payment such as you suggested, maybe they are more willing to accept our cat or cats.

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Thunderballs 18th July, 2015 @ 14:50

@Nicole

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284440/oft356.pdf

Now take my advice and dont tell the landlord you have pets.

Don't bring your pets along until you actually have the keys to the house and have moved in.

The law has to be enforced. And landlords are in a lot more trouble than Tenants if Tenants decide to shaft their Landlord, which you are nto about to do.

My partner told her last landlord she had a dog, and there were some neogitions before she signed the contract and paid him. No issues during Tenancy, but the landlord tried to claim damages after she left. Saying he hadnt given permission fora dog and the dog stained carpets. This cost my partner £30/$50 in total. The landlord had given permission, didnt cough up the letter he said hed write her when she moved in, but despite all that he only got $50 in total from the deposit when my partner left after 2 years.

So stop worrying about it and listening to idiots that don't have the experience to know you gain posession, look after the property and argue/stay sorry afterwards.

You are going to cost yourself thousands of $$$ and/or time and stress doing it any other way.

I have rented hosues in the UK for over 25 years, owned propertty and rented property. I am currently taking an ex landlord to court for $10,000 plus of damages.

I know the score , a lot of these worriers on here dont.

They think they are going to be sent to prison for using a bit of common sense dealing with neurotic landlords and the cretins and crooks most agencies employ.

Contract law is on your side. Use it after you have moved in.

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Bell 19th August, 2015 @ 17:17

Hi I have been living in my rented private house for five years with a dog and we did have five cats. We moved in with three cats and one died, which left two who had three kittens. The landlord knew and it was never a issue.
Six weeks ago the kitchen floor collapsed in one corner with dry rot and the landlord was beyond mad. We have six small children and he discovered that its actually dry rot that's caused it so we asked that it be fixed as my son has asthma. His response was to the next day demand that we get rid of all the cats or he would serve us notice. Gave no reason why the cats just that they had to be gone. We tried to find a house within two days aand we realised that was impossible and so had no choice but to give up our beloved cats. Six weeks later the floors still caved. He hasent fixed it and has no plans too either. He hasent even been back round. He punished us for the dry rot that he admitted when he lived there he knew about as his foot went through the floor because of it but he never fixed it properly.
tomorrow we are looking at a new house and if we are accepted then we are going to get our last cat that hasent been rehomed yet. The others are all gone so its too late to get them back.
There are no deposits on this house he needed tenants quick and at the time we were happy with that but hes turned into a nightmare.
He knows our cats never did any harm and we took care of them yet did this anyway.

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Chelsea 6th October, 2015 @ 16:43

Hi there, any dog friendly landlord required in London. Been looking for over 2months now. Her name is Asia 4year old cross whippet. Friendly, has her own dog house. Please contact Asia and I if you are a landlord wanting to rent. There are plenty of us out here but we won't part with our pets just charge us pet disclaimer fee, additional rent or deposit because this in England and us Brits love our pets to the core! Lol :)

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The Landlord 6th October, 2015 @ 17:20

@Chelsea
Have you looked on Gumtree?

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Chelsea 6th October, 2015 @ 17:28

@The Landlord. Yes I am, still looking but it's a little strange how some will allow pets on Gumtree but don't have a garden?! And still want £3,000 deposits just like open rent. I'm waiting a reply on two properties at the moment. I would advice anyone in same boat as me to look on zoopla ive had more response and don't give up!

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The Landlord 6th October, 2015 @ 17:31

@Chelsea
£3000 seems excessive (unless it equates to 2 x month's rent).

But at least the deposit will be protected by a deposit scheme.

My advice is, if you're going to put down a 3k deposit make sure a thorough inventory is done, which includes pictures!!

Good luck :)

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Margaret 9th January, 2016 @ 07:08

I want to re home a house cat that is very clean, quiet and old. I live in Italy, my long term rental contract does not mention cats, but I have overheard one of the agents tell someone pets are not allowed. How do I stand? If I approach the agents I am sure it will be no, despite no mention re pets as mentioned. Any advice welcome.

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Mike 4th February, 2016 @ 10:40

I don't understand why all the Dog/Cat owners on here think there is no problem having animals living in the house . I have never ever entered a house with Dogs/Cats in and not been amazed by the horrible smell inside. The owners noses have adapted to the smell no they don't notice it themselves.
Some desperate Landlords will allow Pets but they are most likely Landlords who are suffering financial hardship and are desperate to have anyone in their property to get some money in their pockets so guess what's going to happen when you have maintenance issues ?Yes they are unlikely have any money to speedily fix your boiler/toilet etc

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Chris 13th February, 2016 @ 15:11

My job has recently relocated from east to central Suffolk and I am therefore looking for a rental property closer to my office. I am a dog-owner and have been renting for almost 8 years with no problems whatsoever (my dog is a mature lab with all vaccinations, flea/worm treatments, etc. and a friendly, gentle disposition). When I first started looking for rental properties, I would estimate that approximately 2 out of 3 landlords would not accept pets: from my recent attempts to find a pet-friendly property I would estimate it to be closer to 5 out of 6 who will not accept pets, possibly more.

From my conversations with several lettings agents, the attitude seems to be that as there is a far higher proportion of people who want to rent these days (rising property costs, larger deposits required, etc.) then landlords can pick and choose, e.g. no pets, no smokers, no kids, no DSS, and still get a tenant very easily. In reality I suspect this is exaggerated, as I have seen several properties I expressed an interest in and was informed by the agent had a'no pets' policy which are still on the market several months after my initial enquiries. Although the agents I spoke with insisted they try to persuade landlords to accept pets I am not convinced by this and suspect there is a knee-jerk 'no pets' ethos on the dubious principle that 'there will be another tenant along in a minute'! What I find particularly galling is that the sort of properties that would be ideal for dogs, e.g. hard wood/laminate/tile flooring, low-maintenance garden, barn conversion, etc. are invariably in the 'no pets' camp - Why? From a commercial viewpoint excluding pets is ludicrous - you are automatically excluding between a third and a half of your potential market (imagine an entrepreneur who opened a plush new restaurant and then banned people with brown eyes!)

As the landlord notes in the main article above, good pet owners tend to make good tenants. Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, I pay my rent on time, take excellent care of the property and must be pretty close to a model tenant. Once a dog is out of the puppy stage, is house-trained, well cared for and has all vaccinations, etc. then what damage is it likely to do? When you sign a tenancy agreement these days you pretty much sign your life away - they are often 20 pages or so long, require each page to be initialled to show you have accepted the requirements and cover virtually every eventuality - rest assured that in the unlikely event that a tenant's dog does some significant damage the tenancy agreement will see to it that the tenant restores your property to its original condition!

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Mel 3rd March, 2016 @ 19:09

In London the rental market is bad in general, landlords can already charge a fortune for a closet or garage space and they will still find tenants. People are so desperate that landlords don't even have to redecorate, paint or replace carpets to increase rent every year. So what exactly is their problem with pets? Are there any landlords here that could clarify what issues they've had that made them so pet-unfriendly?!! My flat was unfurnished so no sofas to be destroyed, the tenancy agreement clearly states that I am responsible for fixing any damages caused by my dog, as well as pay for professional cleaning after we move out. On top of that there is a £1500 security deposit that would be enough to replace all the doors, trimmings and cheap laminate flooring in the tiny one bedroom that I rent. If the neighbours complain, I am also obligated to remove the dog from the property. What is it exactly that he could do that would cause any inconvenience to a potential landlord?

I guess I was lucky to find a nice landlady that allowed me to move in with my dog. And even though the flat is a bit damp, mouldy and falling apart in places, I feel so grateful that I fix and maintain things on my own just to be able to live here. But I already worry about our future in London :(

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Debbie 31st March, 2016 @ 12:46

I wouldn't have dreamed of owning a pet whilst I was renting when I was younger for this very reason. Landlords don't like having pets in their homes, so whenever you move you are going to find it difficult getting a new place. I think, to be very responsible, it's best not to get a pet until you life is settled. Renting means you can be given 2 months notice at any point, that's not stable enough for my liking to own a dog or a cat.

It's a bit different though if you had your own home, and now don't, i.e. through marriage break-up; for those people I'm truly sorry. But for young students who just fancy getting a puppy, even though they don't know where they're going to live? Sorry, but that's irresponsible,(and landlords don't want a tenant they see as irresponsible - it's not just about the dog). It's also not fair on the dog, who will probably wind up with the parents of the tenant, or being rehomed.

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Suzanne 10th April, 2016 @ 21:16

I was a lettings agent for about ten years and I actively encouraged landlords to consider accepting pets. Most families with pets were so grateful to find homes that would accommodate them that they were more than happy to agree professional cleaning terms and additional deposits. I can honestly say that I never experienced any problems as a result of accepting pets. In fact, there were far more problems caused by young children. I've also been a landlord and every tenant has had either dogs, cats or both and again there were no problems. In most cases tenants with pets are very careful to be especially clean and meticulous so that there are no problems and their references won't be affected. In my experience the people with pets often were cleaner than the ones without! No-one should have to consider losing their pet in order to find a home. Moving is stressful enough without having to think about re-homing your pets. I am just in the early stages of setting up my own small letting agency and will definitely be encouraging Landlords to be positive about pets rather than assuming they will cause problems. The important thing is to make sure all the correct checks are made and that includes meeting the animal, getting to know the prospective tenants properly and their circumstances. I also won't be charging Landlords and Tenants for every time they sneeze...which seems to be the case with some of the bigger agents these days..better not start me on that one!

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Bette 20th April, 2016 @ 12:39

We are in the process of finding a new rent only because our landlord is selling the property. We have been rejected from almost everywhere so far because we have a (an indoor) cat. I can provide his vaccination reports, reference from the present landlord, pay higher deposit etc. (we even have our own carpet cleaner machine what we haven't used because the cat but to clean the dirty carpet after previous tenants) but agents shake us off with the usual explanation that it is not just the landlord's choice but the leasehold management's prohibition. I feel like a third grade citizen, we haven't even got the right to see these sacred properties.
I think it is always the owner's responsibility how a pet behaves. If the owner does not keep a pet well and clean he/she does not keep the whole household tidy. NO MATTER AN IRRESPONSIBLE PERSON HAS OR HAS NOT A PET IT WILL PUT A STAMP ON THE HOUSE.
It is not fair to turn us down without the chance to prove our suitability.
It is silly to reject a middle aged professional couple with one indoor cat. We have added and not removed value from rental properties so far by cleaning and demoulding them, changing dated, dirty carpets, fixing dripping water taps...
I wish all the best luck to people in similar situation.

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Julie 20th April, 2016 @ 22:39

My landlord has told me that I have to get rid of my two rabbits and I live on a farm he tells me that I am not aloud to have any animals but he is going to bring a cat where I rent from.

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Elaine Rutland-Smith 17th May, 2016 @ 15:28

Our landlord has just sold the house we live in, 6 weeks after telling us he was selling all his properties (recent budget tax changes). Due to personal reasons we had to sell and rent back and already had dog(s) and landlord wrote it in the agreement. I appreciate the issues landlords have with pets, but we have had our dogs between 2-9 years and they are no trouble - but do you think in this nation of animal lovers we can find a rental property in our area (lived here 25 years, 9 years as tenants) that takes pets. I read somewhere that by not allowing well behaved/trained dogs in rental properties they are reducing their profits by up to 50%, although actually do not see many rental properties available these day suitable and affordable. The only pet friendly rentals agencies are mainly in London, Oxford etc (via letswithpets website). Why haven't other agents etc registered?

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maria 14th June, 2016 @ 15:45

My daugther has rented a house in London and her land lord told her there was not problems to bring her dog to London.

I had her dog living with me for a few months and i can tell it is an extremely well behaived dog. Finaly I sent the dog with her about one month ago.

she is having problems because it seems there is a policy in her building (she did not know that) that does not allow dogs witouth an special permission, Now She has been told to put her dog out in 20 days, the land lord did not ask for that permission and does not care about the situation, my daugther has been living in the flat 5 months , paint it , change the flour ,and fix many things to make it a look very nice flat, because she sign for two years.

It seems that there is a neighbour that has complain about the dog, but they dont want to tell her who was that person, there are more dogs living in the building with that special permission that she didnt get because her landlord didnt give her that information, and now with that anonimous complain the neigbours comunity denies her that permission, what can she do , she is young and I fell they are taking avance on her....please help!!!

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Jules 18th June, 2016 @ 14:08

A similar thing happened to a dear friend of mine and his wife. They sold their immaculate house and move to a smaller 2 bed flat with patio which they purchased it was not even rented. My friend has many serious health issues and although their dog is not registered as a helper dog, the dog is vital for his mental wellbeing coping with illness. The estate agent, failed to inform them after they asked "are pets allowed' in this flat I am intending to 'buy'. The agent assured them that was no problem to get the sale. Then to their horror, once contracts exchanged, it came to light this was not the case. I can tell you all, it nearly finished my friend off. The stress on him and his wife was appalling. The dog in question was elderly and required ongoing medication and the thought of it going to a rehoming centre was horrific and deeply upsetting for my poor sick friend. They wanted to do everything by the books but ridiculous unfair policies are inflicting terrible suffering on elderly, sick people and their pets. This has to change.

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Ravi D 14th December, 2016 @ 04:52

The situation in India is so much worse. Most of the home owners and apartment associations have a strict no pets policy. This is a major problem for people already having pets in India, even in cosmopolitan cities. In case you're a pet owner/lover, try convincing your landlord with these points https://goo.gl/Xrw3Ub

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Rebecca 24th January, 2017 @ 19:50

It's such a shame. We are renting a gorgeous 7 bed barn conversion with our four German shepherds. Up on the North Yorkshire moors.
After having our first child, I no longer work as much as I used too. I work from home anyway, and my partner works full time. The rent is 1700 a month! And the landlord has been brilliant. Leaves us well alone, house is immaculate. We only moved here because of the location and of course, so many dogs, no where cheap would have us. After my lower wages and losing two of our dogs to old age. We are stuck as after 6 years, the landlord wants to sell the property due to retirement and wanting a nice bonus. We don't blame him. And there's no hard feelings. But we've descovered clearly the lack of properties available. No way will we get rid of our dogs. And two big dogs, a child, and even offering six months up front rent, extra bond, agreeing to sign any documents to pay for professional cleaning and show proof once we leave, a letter from currently landlord to explain how excellent the property condition is even when we had four dogs! Nope, not one property will have us. And we don't really want to rent something so pricey again. But the only properties that the landlords even coincided is are large expenseives lines again. Due to lack of people to afford them, we can no longer afford them now! We are given permission to live here until it sells, and it's already been 7 months. A house so pricey won't sell fast the landlord knows that. And it's very remote! And thankfully it's giving us plenty of time. But I'm 7 months, and even a budget up to 1400, and up north where we are that's a lot. We are still disregarded. We are stuck, this house could sell any moment, we are living on edge upset to leave, and nothing from a 1 bed flat to another like this will have us. We offer everything. Yet, feel discriminated because we have pets. Especially large, energetic 'bully breeds'. We have even applied to the council, as they accept two pets, but because of partners earnings, aren't able to help us. But, we would be regarded as emergency due to being 'kicked out' so to speak. And having a child. We either get rid of two cherished family members. Or continue on a road to stress and loss of money fast. And endless rejection and disappointment. And we do not want to leave Yorkshire with having both our families here. Stress stress and more stress.

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Marlene cornforth 12th March, 2017 @ 14:57

I live next door to a rented property and the front which is box shaped not much room is full of dog poo I've spoken to the agents they clear it up that day and leave it again for months it absolutely stinks. It's alright having these agents but do they tell the landlord no they don't.ive asked them on numerous occasions I've posted a letter. If it's not dealt with I'm going to tell the agents that i am going to sue the landlord I'm trying to sell my house fgs.

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Benji 12th March, 2017 @ 20:24

@Marlene cornforth,

I know it isn't fair but clean up their shit yourself.
If the front is grassed over, smile and offer to mow it when you are doing yours- and clean up the shit.
If the front is paved over, smile and offer to pressure wash it when you are doing yours- and clean up the shit.
Be the bigger person. Life is too short. Move on.
(but if it makes you feel better, have a dump on their front yard when you leave.)

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cassie 11th April, 2017 @ 21:46

I have a small dog. She is extremely well trained and behaved. I have been looking for a rental property for a year now and cannot get one. Every single one I find is 'No Pets'. It is crazy how landlords can get away with not allowing pets. I have even been told to sell my dog by a landlord of a property I went to look at. What gives him the right to tell me that. I have offered to pay more of a deposit and monthly rent. The majority of pet owners are responsible and yet it is still so difficult to find some where to live. I have been stuck living in a B&B for a year because of this.

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Christabel 8th July, 2017 @ 12:33

As depressing as the situation is it's nice to hear I'm not the only one going through this situation.

It's so frustrating making call after call after call, be it a private landlord or an agency and always getting the same reply: NO! How can it be LEGAL to officially be able to say "sorry, no pets" (sorry, not sorry) and even to children?! are we going to have to start making shelters to keep children because no flat will accept them? its ludicrous.

I phoned a private landlord regarding a 3 bed house with a garden, his crappy excuse was that the garden is paved, not grass, and wouldn't be suitable for our dog. He doesn't know that we walk our dog 3 times a day in a PARK, because he needs to run.

It just makes me angry that I can't pick and choose where I WANT to live, and I'm going to have to accept a house in an area I don't like, in bad conditions....basically make do with whoever will be happy to accept dogs.

Good luck to all tenants with pets! there must be some rational people left in the world to help us find a home!

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Jenni Maija Helena 10th October, 2017 @ 11:26

I live in London, and before I moved in my current flat, I was sleeping in friends’ living rooms for 4 MONTHS because I couldn’t find a flat that would allow my dog. It was the most stressful time of my life and I was in absolute tears over it, looking at ads and calling agents becoming compareable to a full time job. Wasted so much time with agents who would lie to you, telling you that they have a property for you and only when you are ready to sign a contract, revealing that it does not actually allow pets and try to get you to give up your pet. Happened to me multiple times!

In the end I found a flat with a two hour commute to my job, £200 over my budget. I only accepted it because I was desperate and it was in a good condition. Some of the places I was shown before were unlivable.

I made a contract for 2 years just because I didn’t want to do the same again so soon. I’ve hated living here because of the commute and being so broke because of the high rent (£1400 for a two bed, one single one double), but now I’m having sleepless nights because the tenancy is ending in 4 months so I’ll have to start looking again very soon. We’ve already been told our current landlord will raise the rent after our contract is up so there is no hope in staying here.

It’s not fair to treat people like this just because we have pets. I’ve always been an exceptional tenant and paid my rent on time and looked after the property. And I’m not giving up on my best friend of 9 years, even if it means I’ll have to go homeless again.

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