There are so many physical and mental health benefits to owning pets. Walking and playing with them helps to decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as helping to manage loneliness and depression by providing companionship. We take a look at where to find rental properties for you and your furry friends.
Why you can’t find pet friendly rental homes
If you are living in one of the 4.44 million households in England that are privately rented and are desperate for a pet, then the odds are not in your favour. Just 7% of private landlords advertise pet friendly properties, despite substantial demand. Although in January there was a new model tenancy agreement (MTA) for landlords to use as a template, to end blanket bans on pets in rental properties, many tenants are still unsatisfied. This is because the agreement is voluntary so changes are likely to be limited.
What tenants are asking for
Cats Protection say that one million households in the UK wold like a cat but are told they are not able to because they live in rented accommodation. Many pet owners are cruelly separated from their beloved animals or risk not being able to find anywhere to live. Over lockdown, pets provided a lifeline to so many so this seems particularly cruel. A pet offers structure, companionship and pure love and affection. For those living alone, a cat or dog can make a huge difference to the quality of their life.
Where to start your pet-friendly search
The Build to Rent (BTR) sector has a very different take on pets and rental life in general. The sector understands that people rent because they want to, not because they have to. This means they provide excellent quality, a wide range of amenities and the opportunity to live with a pet. They also take the responsibility of owning a pet seriously to ensure the owner and pet fit well into the community. This could include meeting the pet beforehand to ensure it is not anti-social and that its veterinary records are up to date. All of this would be appreciated by responsible pet owners. In fact, being pet friendly is good for everyone because an independent report on the top ten highest-rated BTR developments, all offered a place for people and pets.
A spike in pet friendly searches
Living in a Build to Rent development, residents will be able to enjoy the added extras such as gyms, work spaces and cinemas. But it is not just the human residents that can benefit from these added extras. If you like to pamper your pooch, many developments will offer pet socials where tenants and their pets can meet up, they have pet stations stocked with essentials and staff will bring their pets in on designated days to spread the love.
How to prepare for a move with a pet
- Try and leave your pet with family, friends or a professional sitter on moving day, which can be stressful for them.
- Don’t wash the pets bedding until a few weeks after the move. The familiar scent is comforting.
- Give them plenty of cuddles and reassurances following the move.
- Don’t leave them alone too long in their new surroundings, this could cause anxiety.
- Stick to your normal walking and feeding routine to make the transition more manageable.
- While you are unpacking and sorting, find a comfortable and quiet place for your pet to settle.
- Get familiar with a new area before move-in day if possible so your pet can sniff out the parks.
- Keep cats indoor for a little while and introduce them to each room in the house one at a time. Cats can get quite stressed so you don’t want them to make a run for it.
- Let your old neighbours know that you are moving in case your pet does disappear and heads back to their old home.
- If you are moving exotic animals, make sure to tell your removal company first. They may need special equipment to pack them up safely.
- Register with a vet in your new area.
Hear from pet owning tenants
In London, Gabriella and her partner were having difficulties finding a home that would accept their dog. The relief at finding Porter’s Edge in Canada Water was instant as Gabriella explains: “We actually decided to rent the place before we saw it because most new developments don’t accept pets.”
Porter’s Edge offers a vibrant collection of apartments, maisonettes and townhouses just a short walk from Canada Water tube station, just one stop from Canary Wharf. “This was such a great opportunity for us to find a place that is so close to town,” adds Gabriella. “The fact that Folio London accepts pets too made the decision to say yes very easy.” There are lots of amenities in the local area; a shopping centre and leisure park at nearby Surrey Quays plus plenty of places to grab a bit to eat and have a drink with friends.
Sophie and her partner Victoria had been living in the city centre of Manchester for seven years. Although they loved the hustle and bustle, they were keen to have a quieter place to live so they could relax from their busy jobs and study lives.
The couple paid a visit to Duet in Salford Quays, an area they already really loved. “As soon as we walked into the building, we were blown away by the whole customer experience; it was nothing we had experienced before,” said Sophie. “We were shown around the apartments and were really impressed with the quality of the furniture that was included and the high spec interiors. We also loved the communal space on offer with the residents lounge and the co-working space if you wanted to work from home. The gym and fitness centre were also really impressive, and we liked the fact that we could just go and use it whenever we wanted to, and it is all included in our monthly rent.”
The final seal of approval was the fact that Duet is pet friendly. “Vic had always wanted a dog and moving to a pet friendly development was high on her check list. As soon as we moved in, we saw several people with their pets and knew it would be a great place to own a dog, so decided to get Chihuahua Lulu, now 10 months old.” said Sophie. “With Lulu joining our family, we felt we wanted a bit more space so asked if we would be able to move to a slightly larger two bedroom apartment. The team were so accommodating and made it all happen for us. Our new apartment gives us everything we want with views over the courtyard garden and the water of the Salford Quays, it really makes us feel like we are on holiday when we look out of the window; it’s so tranquil. The podium garden is also a great space to be able to take Lulu for some outdoor space and meet up with other dogs. There are lots of other residents with dogs, so with us both having to return to work and study, we have been able to arrange doggy play dates and walks with neighbours whilst we are out.”