Roughly 54 million people in the UK are pet-owners (statista). We are also experiencing an increase in the number of people renting over buying, due to the cost of house prices and flexibility.
So, when landlords state ‘no pets allowed’ on listings, this not only causes problems for people looking to find a new home to rent but also significantly reduces the scope of people who the advert appeals to. Therefore it should be addressed why having pets in rented accommodation is not only beneficial for the tenants, but it’s actually a good thing for the landlord too!
NatWest’s Landlords and Tenants Survey revealed some very telling results about what pet-lovers we are as a nation. Out of the 1000 tenants across the country surveyed, one-fifth stated a pet-friendly property was the most important attribute, trumping cleanliness and affordability. Interestingly, 81% of this fifth were female! This proves just how essential pets are to our lives.
The Benefits To You
We know the joys that our pet brings us. However, there are numerous health benefits that we don’t even think about when playing with our cat or dog. Our stress and anxiety levels decrease when we have a pet, this has a positive knock-on effect on the reduction of risk for more serious issues like high blood pressure and heart disease. Taking our dog for a walk seems ordinary, but we don’t consider how this daily walk reduces obesity and cardiovascular disease and increases sociability for us and our dog.
The benefits extend to children as having a cat or dog is might actually be a preventative method for them to develop allergies and boost their immunity. It also gives them an introduction into responsibility and taking care of something other than themselves.
We are building a better understanding of the importance of mental health, and it has been found having a pet has a positive effect on our mental health and can help combat loneliness. This has been recognised widely and dogs are welcomed into nursing homes to lift the moods of those feeling lonely, the charity Pets As Therapy.
The Benefits to the Landlord
After discussing some of the benefits your pet brings you, address why it will be a good thing for the landlord too. Firstly, having a dog, for example, adds additional security, preventing burglaries. Discuss how pet-owners don’t want to cause disruption in their pets lives with constant moving around, hence will stay in the property for a longer period of time. This means they won’t have to keep finding new tenants year on year.
Understanding their point of view is crucial, so try and address their concerns. These are things you would do without a second thought, but conveying this to your landlord will help them see how responsible you are. Cleaning up your pet’s messes, grooming them, repairing any damages they cause and training your pet properly so they are approachable and sociable are all tangible ways of depicting your cat or dog won’t be a problem.
Some Simple Solutions
If your landlord is still having some doubts, think of some ways to put their mind at ease. Offering a slightly higher deposit than a tenant without pets will depict your willingness to take responsibility for any damage your pet could cause. You could arrange for your landlord to meet your pet so they feel comfortable with them and remove some of the mystery as to who your pet is and what they’re like. The landlord might have a misconception as to what damage pets can cause and the level of noise they make, so if they meet your pet, it can relax them. To show you are a responsible tenant, uphold a level of cleanliness you’re both happy with. If you have dogs, give them plenty of exercise so they don’t become restless, and treat the rented property with respect.
Finally, if your landlord has agreed to allow you to have pets, don’t break their trust and keep any more than you both agreed upon. This will damage your relationship and could cause some legal issues. Ultimately, you want a positive relationship with your landlord, so think about ways you will both be happy, so you and your furry friend should be able to stay for the long haul.