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Graham Awards


Shocking numbers of tenants hide pets from agents and landlords

It’s suggested that almost a third of pet-owning tenants have been hiding their animals from agents or landlords for more than three years.

Research from Build To Rent operator Quintain Living, based a survey of over 1,000 private tenants across the whole rental sector, suggests that as many as 38 per cent did not feel comfortable asking for permission to keep a pet. And 29 per cent had difficulty finding a property to rent as a pet owner. 

Around one in six tenants considered giving up their pets to make it easier to find a rental property.


Birds were named as the most secretly kept pets in the UK – a staggering 50 per cent of respondents who keep birds admitted hiding them from their landlord with rabbits in second place.

The strategies adopted by devious tenants included 35 per cent taking them for a walk during an agent’s or landlord’s visit, 32 per cent leaving them with a friend, 19 per cent passing them temporarily to neighbours, and around 15 per cent hiding the pet - presumably something like goldfish or reptiles. 


Its research also found that Brighton is the most pet-friendly city in the UK – and Belfast is the least pet-friendly – with the most pet-friendly living in Norwich, Leeds and Sheffield. Plymouth, Cardiff and Edinburgh were at the other end of the scale.

“For too long, renters have been excluded from keeping pets in their family homes, but, as we have proved, there is no reason why we cannot live in harmony together. We are proud to have been one of the first to offer pet-friendly homes to rent, as well as a host of pet-friendly amenities on site” says Quintain chief operating officer Danielle Bayless.

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    Another area where new laws haven't worked. Lot of tenants would like to rent with a pet and are happy to pay a sizeable deposit to do so. But the law won't let the landlord take that deposit, so the landlord is left with the choice of accepting pets with a standard deposit (high risk) or saying no to pets (much lower risk). Unsurprisingly he chooses the latter which makes it really hard for any tenant with a pet to get accepted for a property. It's a classic example of a situation where the state did not need to intervene.

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    Having always had pets around me for my entire life, I have always allowed pets in my properties. I have however experienced the following;
    1. Some tenants who decide to attempt to disguise the fact that they have pets - "I'm looking after the dog for a friend or parents" or similar, which turns out to be permanent!.
    2. State, at the outset of the Tenancy that they have one middle size house trained dog and one cat, which ultimately ends up being 2 or 3 large dogs who do their business any and everywhere etc.
    3. Have dogs that scratch the doors, door frames and the like.
    4. Had Tenants who build up a menagerie inside the property with gerbils, mice, rabbits, Guinee pigs etc
    Unfortunately, those who think up and introduce ever more liberalistic rules and regulations which prevent decent Landlords from making understandable decisions in regard to pets and the number of pets that Tenants introduce to a property, fail to overlook such facets.
    As is sadly lacking in much of the legislation introduced in recent times, such legislation introduced needs to be balanced by legislation that - in situations as presented above and similar - provides Landlords with the means to give formal warning to the Tenant, should certain boundaries be exceeded and, if not rectified or complied with, allow the Landlord to take necessary action to terminate the Tenancy.


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