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Pets - momentum builds for more animal-friendly lettings

New research appears to be adding to the momentum to have more flexibility over pets in private rental accommodation. 

Nearly one in five tenants say that permission to keep pets is one of their top three must-haves for renting.

A study of over 1,300 tenants by Paragon Bank, undertaken by the Social Market Foundation think tank, asked for their priorities when looking at a home to rent.


The most important consideration for tenants is the monthly rent cost, featuring in the top three must-haves for 55 per cent of those responding. Next came the number of bedrooms, prioritised by 35 per cent of renters. 

Equal third came the ability to keep pets and, allied to this, some form of outside space.

Tenants were also asked what is important about the area in which rented accommodation was located. 

Being close enough to work was a priority for 38 per cent, followed by public transport on 37 per cent and proximity to shops for 36 per cent.

Richard Rowntree, mortgages managing director for Paragon Bank said: “It is unsurprising that the monthly rent cost is the top consideration for tenants. With a shortage of stock seen alongside high demand for privately rented homes, this need for affordable housing reinforces the importance of investment in the private rented sector.

“It was interesting to see the value that renters place on the things that help to shape their everyday lives, such as keeping pets and outside space.

“The SMF study showed that tenants are likely to stay in a property for the long-term and they want to make it a real home, so we would encourage landlords to consider how they can facilitate that.”

This study follows news earlier this month that letting agents are to be quizzed to establish the true cost of damages to rental accommodation by tenants.

The “What’s the damage?” online survey is a joint project between industry trade bodies Propertymark and the National Residential Landlords Association, along with East Midlands-based pets charity AdvoCATS.

The purpose of the research is to provide accurate data of the type of damage caused in rental accommodation by adults, children and pets, as well as the cost to landlords and method of recovery. 

The results will be presented to Housing Minister Eddie Hughes by AdvoCATS later this Spring, to further enhance their ‘Heads for Tails' report and proposals to amend the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and making renting with pets easier for both parties, thus avoiding the impact of “no pets” clauses.

  • jeremy clarke

    So a survey that only asks one side of the equation a question! Can I suggest that the next survey asks the same audience a question along the lines of "would you prefer to stay in your rented property without paying rent?"
    I suggest that most of us could predict the response but, if you ask landlords, again we could predict the results.

  • Jennifer Berezai

    SMF’s research focussed on tenants, ours seeks data from landlords - seems like a balanced approach to us…

  • Matthew Payne

    Efforts should focus on lobbying HMG to amend the TFA to provide remedy for pet dilaps. Until such time, no remedy = no pets. There are 20+ tenants for every property most who dont have a pet, so landlords dont need to feel under any emotional pressure from this "momentum".

  • girish mehta

    Tenent’s damage the property and do not look after the property. Deposit restricted to 5 weeks. On top you want landlords to allow pets risking higher cost and risk to damage. And you can not use section 21. If you use section 8 then you have to prove in court your side . Tenent’s get legal aid . Landloard said have to pay to get every tenent. Very costly exercise. The government will have to change laws to get landlords on board. Can’t see landlords accepting the additional risk just because it is nice to have option for tenant’s. Government should leave it to market forces rather than pandering to pressure groups and making policies on the hoof in order to get votes


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