With households across the UK looking to adopt a pet to keep them company during lockdown, proptech start-up Home Made has researched the cities with the most pet-friendly rental properties.
Home Made analysed the rental properties advertised on Zoopla in the UK’s 25 largest cities during October 2020. The data shows that Plymouth has the highest number, followed by Edinburgh, then Stoke. However, the percentages were not very high.
Home Made’s top UK cities for pet-friendly rental properties:
Ranking city % of pet-friendly rental properties
1. Plymouth 8%
2. Edinburgh 6%
3. Stoke 4%
4. Northampton 4%
5. Glasgow 4%
6. Manchester 3%
7. Bristol 3%
8. London 3%
9. Nottingham 3%
10. Liverpool 2%
11. Brighton 2%
12. Southampton 2%
13. Birmingham 2%
=13. Bradford 2%
14. Reading 2%
15. Derby 1%
16. Coventry 1%
17. Cardiff 1%
18. Sheffield 1%
19. Hull 1%
20. Leeds 1%
21. Portsmouth 1%
22. Newcastle 1%
23. Leicester 0%
24. Belfast 0%
Home Made’s research also reveals that almost one in 10 renters are currently looking for pet-friendly properties (London and the South West). The survey of UK renters with pets revealed that dogs were the most popular pet (60%), followed by cats (50%), fish (15%) and small pets, such as hamsters (12%).
However, 39% of UK renters haven’t been able to rent a property because they are a pet owner.
Home Made also surveyed landlords to seek their views, with those who don’t offer pet friendly properties stating that the potential damage to their investment was their main concern (67%).
52% of the renters polled responded they would be happy to pay at least 5% more rent as a ‘pet premium’ to mitigate any possible wear and tear. 7% stated they are prepared to pay 10% more each month.
23% of landlords said that their letting agent actively advised them against advertising as ‘pet-friendly’. This could lead to landlords missing out on quality renters, longer tenancies, potentially higher rents and shorter void periods.
To help alleviate landlords’ concerns, 53% of pet owning renters would also be happy to set up a meeting so the landlord can get to know them and their pet. 38% would also be happy to provide references from ex-landlords to demonstrate their pet is well behaved.
A quarter of renters said that they would be forced to rehome their pet if they couldn’t find a property. Whilst many would aim to rehome the pet with a friend or family member, 6% said that they would be forced to take their pet to a shelter. 24% of renters said that they would rather go homeless than give up their pet.
Despite some landlords being reluctant to allow pets in their properties, they do recognise the benefits it offers for both themselves and renters. 56% of landlords are currently considering changing their policies to allow pets in their rental properties, following the rise in pet ownership during lockdown. 55% are considering changing their stance because they believe that letting renters have a pet means they will get more enjoyment from their home. 49% recognise that tenants would be inclined to stay longer in the property, and 34% believe it would lead to fewer void periods.
CEO and founder of Home Made, Asaf Navot, comments: “We’re a nation of pet lovers – even more so following lockdown. But finding a rental property to suit you and your pet or pets can be tough. It is understandable many landlords are concerned about potential damage to their properties as we know that pets can be hard on a home. But there are real upsides to renting to pet owners – they’re often more conscientious tenants and they stay longer.
“If you’re a renter with a pet, try getting pet references from previous properties or organise a play date with the landlord so they can get to know your friend.
“If you’re a landlord concerned about your property, chat to prospective tenants about the additional wear and tear and factor this into tenancy negotiations. You can also spend some time pet proofing the property by removing items like rugs that could be easily damaged.
“No one should have to rehome a pet because of a lack of housing options – and searching for pet-friendly properties needs to be made easier. As a team of animal lovers, we’ve created a ‘pet-friendly property’ search tool on our site so prospective renters can find the perfect place to live.”