Over the pandemic, many households decided it was the time for a pet – in fact, according to Goodlord, the need for pet friendly rentals shot up by 120% across the UK, and yet according to the .gov.uk website in 2021, only 7% of landlords accept pets in their properties.

You probably remember if you have ever rented the adverts which included “no pets” as a common bullet point. Did you know though, that recently the UK Government have introduced a new paper to try and tackle this?

It’s called the Private Rented Sector White Paper, and the purpose of it is to give tenants the right to request that a pet can live in their home. Rather than the landlord being able to stipulate right at the start of advertising, this paper means that tenants have the right to request a pet in their home, and landlords won’t be able to ‘unreasonably refuse’.

The paper also states that landlords can’t charge extra non-refundable fee to cover these costs either, although the deposit amount could go up to cover any potential damage of course.

Let’s not get too excited though – this doesn’t mean that every property is suitable for pets. There are a few considerations. According to the description of the paper, small properties or flats could be deemed as impractical for pets.

This is definitely something to consider if you are currently looking for a property to rent, don’t assume that the new paper will allow you to have pets – be practical. Some questions you may want to ask yourselves: Do you spend enough time at home? Do you have access to a garden or outside space? Do you have children which may limit time or type of pet? Does your lifestyle own itself to looking after a pet? Is the property suitable for a dog/cat?

Once you have thought about those answers, you may decide now is not the right time. Or, you may decide that yes, the property fits and you are ready!

Which takes us to asking the landlord or agent. In our experience, landlords are usually more willing to allow pets if they feel confident in the owners ability and commitment to look after them. For example, letting a landlord know that you would look into getting insurance against any pet damage, paying for a deep clean of the property at the end of the tenancy or even offering a higher deposit to cover potential additional costs. If you are speaking to a new landlord or agent, go armed with these suggestions – solutions, not problems. You could even go so far as researching the size of pet suitable for your property, and show you have considered that too.

As pet owners ourselves, we know and understand how much they enhance your life, and become a huge part of your family. We’d definitely be lost without our own Murph-dog, and welcome the new paper to allow tenants the right to ask for pets in their home.