General Tips - Long Term Homes to Rent with a pet
All tenants should remember that accommodation allowing pets is in high demand and will be let more quickly, so you should be prepared to move fast to secure a home to live.
Be prepared to pay a higher deposit for any damage or additional cleaning that the pets may cause.
Don’t forget to get pet insurance. A lot of insurance policies not only cover your pets vet bills but also include public liability insurance, just in case your animal causes damage to somebody else’s property. (Check the conditions of the policy when taking insurance out.)
When moving home, don’t forget to update your pet id tag with your new phone number. they are more likely to get lost when you have recently moved home. It is also a good idea to get your animal micro chipped as a permanent way of identifying them. Remember when you move home; don’t forget to update your contact details with the pet id company. www.Petlog.org.uk
If you are travelling to the UK from overseas, or are looking for pet friendly vacations, don’t forget your pet passport. This can take several months to complete the process, so don’t leave it to the last minute. Contact your vet for details.
If you do not yet own a pet but are hoping to once you have found a dog friendly landlord, it is worth looking at re-homing centres or a local rescue centre. Taking on a mature pet rather than a puppy or a kitten, is not only very rewarding, but can be easier as they are generally calmer than a younger animal.
Once you have moved home, make sure you find your local vets as soon as possible and sign up with them. You don’t want to start searching for a vet once your pet is ill or has had an accident.
If you are replying to an advert from a private landlord, make sure that you have the tenancy agreement checked out by your solicitor. As we are only an advertising website, and not a letting agent, we are unable to provide the same services that you would get from them.
Small Animals in rentals
Tell the landlord where you plan to keep them. If it is a rabbit or a guinea pig, it is better for them to be kept in a secure hutch and run in the garden. Smaller caged animals such as hamsters & gerbils would normally be kept indoors, but the landlord may not want them upstairs. Landlords may prefer fish tanks to be kept in a kitchen, just in case there is a leek.
Cats in rental properties
Some houses will already have a cat flap built in, If not you may be able to make arrangements to have one installed into a back door. If the landlord requests; this may have to be put back to the original state once the term of the lease has finished. If a flap is not an option, make sure you are willing to provide your cat with a litter tray, kept in an appropriate place.
Dogs in rental properties
Some landlords may only accept dogs by negotiation. This means that they may want to know more about them or may want to meet them before signing the tenancy agreement. The Dog’s Trust recommends writing your dog a ‘C.V.’ before searching for a property.
• breed, size, age and whether it is neutered
It is also important for the Landlord to know other details about your pets lifestyle. By providing as much information as possible, you are more likely to encourage Landlords to accept your pet.
How long will they be left for? Most dogs should not be left for longer than 4 hours at a time. If you are at work all day and can not come home at lunch time, consider having somebody walk them for you during the day or leave your pet with a home boarder.
Where will your pet be left while you are out? It can be a good idea to leave your dog in one particular room when you do leave them home alone. A kitchen or utility room are the best as they tend to have hard floors. If they scratch at closed internal doors, consider using a stair gate across the doorway. Crates are also becoming increasingly popular especially with young or destructive dogs. Most adapt quickly to being left in a crate for short periods of time, it becomes their safe ‘den’. Wherever you leave a pet, provide it with fresh water, a bed, and plenty of interactive toys to keep them occupied. Crates, toys etc are available from our pet friendly store
How often is your dog treated for fleas and worms etc? By keeping your pet treated regularly with preventative treatment, it will not only be better for the home you are living in, but for your pets’ general health as well. You may need to provide proof from your vet, or provide your vets details for a reference.
Where will they be exercised? Where possible, it is better for your dog to have most of its exercise away from the property to minimize damage to the garden. A minimum of two short walks per day are recommended to keep them happy. When your dog goes to the toilet in the garden or out on a walk, be a responsible pet owner and clear it up.
How clean is your dog? All pets should be groomed regularly, and depending on the breed, clipped by a professional. They should have their feet dried after walks, and be left in a suitable room while they dry off if they are wet or muddy. If hallways are carpeted, it is worth buying a cheap rug, so your dog has somewhere to stand while his feet are being cleaned. Use a good quality vacuum cleaner, and clean the house regularly to prevent a build up of dust & hair that your pet will produce. Offer to get the carpets professionally cleaned before you leave the property, or once a year if it is a long term let.
How well behaved is your dog? Not all dogs are perfectly well behaved. If your dog is a bit on the naughty side; how about going along to training classes to improve his general behavior. If your dog suffers from a particular problem, then find a behaviorist who may be able to sort out even the worst canine behavior. Things like constant barking, or destructiveness, may not go down very well with a potential landlord, so get these problems sorted out before you start looking to move.
If a landlord is still reluctant to accept a pet after all of these points have been discussed, invite the new landlord to see where you and your pet are currently living. If the landlord sees that the house is clean and your pet has not caused any damage, he is more likely to be won over!
Please remember to respect the landlord’s property, and wherever possible leave it in the same state as it was when you arrived. This is not only good for the landlord as they are more likely to accept pets in the future; it is also good for you if you need a reference for a new landlord.
Dogs should not be left for longer than 4 hours at a time. Suggest that your tenant finds a local dog walker or home boarder for any occasions when the pet needs to be left for a longer period of time.
Where should pets be left when the owners are out? Don’t be afraid of asking tenants to keep pets confined to one room when owners are out e.g. the kitchen or any room with a suitable floor covering (Lino, Tiles or Laminate). Suggest stair gates to be used in the door way instead of closing the door on them, this prevents doors being scratched.
No pets upstairs? Most owners already prefer their dogs to be kept downstairs, but if not suggest stair gates to prevent dogs from going upstairs. However some pets are happier sleeping on the landing or in the owners’ bedroom, and if this is what the pets are already used to, it maybe better to accept this.
Don’t be afraid of asking to meet the pet. Just by meeting them, you will get an idea of how suitable it is for your property.
Don’t be put off of big breeds of dogs. They are often very laid back and will cause no more damage than a small dog.
Don’t be put off of having more than one pet. They are good company for each other especially when the owners are out, and happy dogs are less likely to bark or be destructive.
Don’t be put off of puppies or young dogs. If your tenant has a puppy or a young dog, stipulate that when it is left at home alone, it is kept in a crate. A crate becomes a safe ‘den’ for the puppy, and can be filled with toys to keep them occupied. Crates can also be used for any age of dog.
Do I need to install a cat flap? Cat flaps are useful but not essential for a cat owner. Owners can let their cat in and out through a door, and provide a litter tray for use indoors. However if the cat owner requests a cat flap, these are easy to install into most doors. You can always stipulate that the cat flap is removed and the door is returned to its original state when the tenancy agreement ends.
What questions should I ask? See our Tenants tips for an idea of the information that you should gather, and you can then ask these questions to the tenant.
I am thinking about becoming a Dog Friendly Landlord, Do you have any advice? If you are looking to purchase a property and advertise it with pet friendly rentals, we are happy to accept any type of property. However having a garden of any size will be a benefit to a pet owner and will help it let more quickly. The first thing you need to do when you find a suitable property is to obtain a Buy to let Mortgage.
Once you have purchased the property make sure you take out a home insurance which is suitable for landlords.
If the property needs re-decoration before you let it out and you plan to aim at the pets welcome market, there is less need to decorate it to a high standard, as many pet owners we have spoken to are just glad to find a property that will allow their dog. However aim to have suitable floor coverings for pets. Hard wearing surfaces in kitchens and hallways are best, and short pile carpets of a sensible colour are ideal for living areas.
Note to landlords: - Make sure a solicitor is used to draw up tenancy agreements, and references are obtained before accepting a tenant.