Tue 07 Nov 2017
The quick answer is yes! However it can be difficult and it can often require extra negotiation between the applicant and landlord. Now we all love our pets and they are very much part of the family. Most of the time they bring us so much joy but when it comes to renting a home it can make it much harder. We live in Norfolk and without doubt we are a County of dog lovers, so what can we do to make it easier when renting?
The first thing we need to remember is the rental sector housing stock is very much in demand. If you’re looking for a property in a desirable area, well presented and at the right price, it’s safe to say you will have some competition when it comes to applications. Essentially the landlord is spoilt for choice and if we look at things from the landlord’s perspective it’s understandable why they may choose an applicant with no pets, even if they are pet lovers themselves.
When the landlord looks at potential applicants he is considering two important factors. Will the tenant pay the rent on time and will they look after the property. The landlord wants to make sure their investment is rewarding and the condition of their property is maintained. In the landlord’s eyes, tenancies come and go whilst the significant investment they have made will be ongoing and often assisting with retirement plans.
Now we can dodge the issue for as long as we want but pets do and will contribute to additional wear and tear to the landlord’s property. However, of course most people are going to be brilliant long term tenants and treat the home as their own. But how do we demonstrate this commitment to the landlord and secure someone their dream home?
First and foremost if you can meet the owner of the property, perhaps for a second viewing, it really helps. Often when the landlord gets the opportunity to meet applicants and of course your pet they will see what brilliant tenants you will be. It also goes without saying that you have to select the right properties! There is absolutely no point looking at a city centre flat with no garden if you have a dog. Perhaps a bungalow with enclosed garden and hard flooring would be a much better choice?
Secondly you need to do what you can to make the tenancy as safe as possible for the landlord. Often this will require you to be flexible when it comes to additional clauses in the tenancy agreement or an additional damage deposit. Often if you’re forthcoming with these additional requirements it demonstrates proactivity and understanding.
Extra clauses will include an agreement that the property will be professionally cleaned at the end of tenancy. Please note - often landlords or their agents will require proof that this has been completed professionally. Fumigation at the end of the tenancy is another consideration and often helps with the landlord’s decision. It’s fairly common for fleas to lay dormant for considerable time. Increased temperature and vibrations will then awake them and cause havoc for new tenants, resulting in additional unexpected cost to the landlord.
The next and most obvious bargaining tool is to increase the amount of damage deposit held against the tenancy. Often eight weeks rather than six will demonstrate that you are willing to cover any additional damages caused by your pets should they arise. These may be scratches to the floors or doors, fraying to the carpet or damage to the turf in the garden. Accidents happen but at least the finances will be in place just in case!
Finally it’s a very good idea to take out some enhanced contents insurance that includes elements of cover that specifically covers pet damage. Landlords really like this and it’s also often much cheaper for you to claim and pay the excess than deductions be made from your deposit at the end of tenancy.
Following the above advice should help you and your additional family member find the perfect home. Give yourself enough time to search the market, be proactive when it comes to negotiation and enjoy those walks!
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