It’s well documented, scientifically, just how beneficial pets are to our mental and physical health. As reported by The Guardian, ‘A study of 3.4 million people between the ages of 40 and 80 found that having a dog was associated with a 23% reduction in death from heart disease and a 20% lower risk of dying from any cause over the 12 years of the study. Previous studies have suggested dogs relieve social isolation and depression – both linked to an increased risk of heart disease and early death.’
Quite aside from the benefits, it’s estimated by the RSPCA that 12 million households, or 44% of all households, are pet owners, meaning that they make up an enormous proportion of the population and, by extension, renters.
In the past many renters have found it difficult to find rented accommodation with pets, finding it excludes them from many properties as landlords are worried that pets will cause damage to the house, the carpets or the fittings, and often times landlords will expect and ask for much higher deposits to protect them against such eventualities.
Things appear to be changing, however, and renters and landlords are now finding it easier to find rental accommodation and provide it.
From January 2021 things have changed significantly for pet owners. As published on the government website, ‘Under the new Model Tenancy Agreement, announced by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP, landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets.
Instead, consent for pets will be the default position, and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.’
Writing in Landlord Today, this point is addressed and they provide top tips for landlords that are looking to make their properties ready for pet owning tenants, and for tenants to protect the property and their deposit.
Number one is to protect your flooring by installing wool carpets rather than rugs as they’re much more able to cope with the stresses of pets and tend to last longer and be easier to clean.
Secondly, it’s recommended that you install baby gates in order to prevent pets from reaching areas of the house you may not want them in such as bedrooms or the upstairs area.
Finally, is to ensure that you purchase pet friendly cleaning products, such as carpet cleaner and stain removers. Some of these products can be dangerous for animals, and pet friendly products tend to be kinder to materials too.
It’s encouraging to see attitudes changing towards pet owners; however, this brings more competition to an already very busy market following the pandemic.
Estate agents and property websites are already seeing record traffic and demand, and with landlords now required to accept tenants with pets, this means that there is another demographic being addressed and brought into the wider market.
If you’re a tenant with pets and looking to move house, it’s advisable to speak to an estate agent to outline what your needs are and what type of property you’re looking for in order for them to be able to pro-actively search for the perfect property for you.