Tenant News

Nearly one third of UK tenants have hidden pets for over three years, study shows

Em Morley - February 16, 2022

A year on from the UK Government introducing changes to its Model Tenancy Agreement to remove the blanket ban on pets, there has been a new study on renting with pets.

Property management company Quintain Living conducted the study, which consisted of 1,000 respondents who own pets. It looked at the best and worst UK cities for pet owners, the pets most commonly concealed from landlords, and the ways in which tenants have kept their pets a secret.

The study revealed that nearly one third of pet owners in the UK have been hiding their pets for over three years. 38% of respondents said they do not feel comfortable asking their landlord for permission to keep a pet and almost one third experienced difficulty finding a property to rent as a pet owner.

21% of men and 17% of women surveyed said that keeping their pets hidden has had a negative impact on their mental health. 17% said that they have considered giving up their pet in order to find somewhere to live.

Birds are the most secretly kept pets in the UK, with 50% of respondents who keep birds admitted hiding them from their landlord. Rabbits came in second place, cited by 43% of people who own them.

An unexpected result of Quintain Living’s study is that horses came in third place, according to 33% of respondents.

When it comes to hiding pets from landlords during inspections, the most common way is taking the pet for a walk (35%), asking a friend to look after it (32%), asking neighbours to watch it (19%) and hiding it in the wardrobe or cupboard (15%). Almost one in ten pet owners (9%) admitted they disguise their pets to conceal them from their landlords.

Other key findings from the survey:

  • 27% of landlords do not know that their tenants keep pets
  • 30% of Brits think they could rent a nicer property if they didn’t have a pet
  • Brighton was voted the most pet-friendly city in the UK, followed by Edinburgh and Liverpool
  • Belfast turned out to be the least pet-friendly city, with London and Glasgow rounding out the bottom three
  • The most pet-friendly landlords live in Norwich (96%), Leeds (95%) and Sheffield (93%) while Plymouth (82%), Cardiff (80%) and Edinburgh (73%)were voted as the cities with the fewest pet-friendly landlords

Danielle Bayless, COO of Quintain Living, comments: “The UK is a nation of animal lovers and pets are integral members of the family for many, including myself. For too long renters have been excluded from keeping pets in their 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 onsite for two- and four-legged residents alike to enjoy.”