Landlords in the North East are the country’s most animal friendly, according to new research from a Private Rented Sector lettings expert.
The survey of 500 UK landlords by Intus Lettings revealed that almost three quarters (72%) of landlords in the region allow tenants to keep pets in rental properties. The figure is in stark comparison to Yorkshire and the Humber, where less than 40% of landlords welcome furry friends.
Most common reasons for not allowing pets include fear of damage, bad smells and the fact that many leaseholds ban animals in properties.
The subject has become controversial this year with the issue of the government’s new Model Tenancy Agreement in January. It now has a default position of landlords being expected to allow pets – although the agreement is not mandatory for agents or landlords to follow.
Hope McKendrick, head of lettings at Intus, said: “Under the new rules, landlords in England can no longer put a blanket ban on pets within their properties and responsible tenants with well-behaved pets will be able to secure leases more easily through a new standard tenancy agreement.
“The decision has been the topic of much debate since the announcement but the fact is that being pet friendly can make properties more appealing and encourages loyalty among tenants. Of course, there are considerations for landlords to make in terms of protecting their property and many options have been discussed in parliament, including higher deposits, referencing for pets and specific insurance.”
Intus’ research found that 55% of landlords support the change, 24% strongly support and just 18% oppose it.
Hope continued: ‘When the government revealed the changes, it stated just 7% of private landlords currently advertise pet friendly properties, which is incredible when you consider that almost 80% of landlords are supportive of the updated agreement. As long as tenants remain respectful to their landlords, I’ve no doubt that the decision to take a more flexible approach to pets will benefit all parties. It makes commercial sense to landlords and after all, a dog is man’s best friend!’