Rentals website Spareroom.com has launched a campaign to persuade letting agents and landlords to allow more tenants to live with their pets, backed by housing expert Kate Faulkner and TV vet Dr Bob (both pictured, above), homeless charity Crisis and the RSPCA.
Research conducted on behalf of the campaign within the private rental market among 4,500 tenants and landlords found a bleak landscape for pet owners.
This includes nearly 80% of pet-owning tenants struggling to find accommodation, two thirds of landlords refusing pets in their rental properties and 21% of tenants keeping a pet without their landlord’s knowledge.
The 3,200 pet owners interviewed by SpareRoom include Jason Ashley, the owner of canine social media star Ramsey the Blue Staffy (left), who said he viewed 30 properties in Surrey before finding a pet-friendly landlord.
Jason also reveals that he had to lie about the breed of his dog, despite @bluestaffy having 228,000 followers on Instagram.
Perils of smell
Of the 1,261 landlords interviewed, the key reasons why they dislike pets included smell, damage to the property, untrained pets, complaints from neighbours and noise.
“I think landlords are quite cautious people,” says Kate Faulkner. “If you’ve got ten people chasing to rent your property, why would you risk taking someone with a pet?”.
SpareRoom and its experts suggest several solutions including specialist pet rental insurance taken out by tenants, a standard £50-a-month rent surcharge for renting with a pe and higher deposits for tenants.
“A £50 a month increase in rent to reflect the presence of a dog is a relatively small price compared to the other costs associated with dog ownership,” says Dr Bob. “It may also help encourage potential pet owners to stop and think before buying a pet, reviewing all of the other responsibilities that come with that decision.”