The topic of landlords allowing pets in their properties is yet again in the spotlight. It has been a long-standing issue in the private rental sector (PRS), as many landlords are concerned about the damage that could be caused by unruly pets and irresponsible owners. However, the point stands that not all pet owner situations are the same.
SpareRoom, the UK website for finding flatmates or a spare room, has revealed the results of its latest study, showing that 78% of tenants have struggled to find pet-friendly accommodation.
Many are still finding that landlords hold a negative view on tenants keeping pets, with this research concluding that 69% of them simply won’t allow pets in properties at all. This isn’t necessarily going to deter some tenants, as shown by the response that 21% of tenants are actually keeping pets without their landlord knowing about it.
There are many reasons why landlords are so against allowing animals in their properties, with the main ones highlighted by this survey. 57% of landlords said it was because of the smell they leave, 55% put it down to the possibility of them damaging the property, and 37% hold concerns that owners will not properly train them.
It’s not all negative news, though, as 88% of pet owners stated that they have never met complaints about keeping pets, and that their own furry friends have never caused damage to the houses they have rented.
A movement has been made by SpareRoom, in partnership with the RSPCA, Crisis, landlord representatives, economists, vets and property professionals, to help improve the lack of pet-friendly accommodation available in the UK.
Together they have created the first ever think tank for pets, with the aim of developing ideas and policy suggestions, to encourage landlords to reconsider their stance on pets in properties.
It has been highlighted that landlords will also benefit from making such allowances, as it could lead to increased income. On top of this, it is believed that the potential benefits also include improved physical and mental wellbeing for tenants, as well as a reduced number of pets ending up in rehoming centres.
53% of tenants involved with the research, who already own a pet, stated that they pay between £10 and £49 extra in rent each month in order to keep pets in their homes. 32% pay between £50 and £99 extra each month.
Matt Hutchinson, communications director for SpareRoom, has stated: “With more of us renting our homes it’s vital we have a conversation about what that means for quality of life. We know that allowing pets into rented homes can be particularly beneficial – and in more ways than people might think.
“Pets can be a source of higher rental income for landlords, but they can also improve the wellbeing of tenants, reduce the number of pets given up for rehoming or, worse, abandoned, and they can even have an impact on reducing homelessness.
“Ultimately, there’s no reason tenants shouldn’t be able to live with pets, subject to certain relevant conditions and checks being in place. By finding the obstacles and removing them, as well as seeing the positives, not just the negatives, we should be able to make it much easier for people to have a pet, whether they own their home or not.”