Lets with pets: How to find a flat with a dog

Lets with pets: How to find a flat with a dog

If you are looking to rent somewhere to live and you have a dog, it can be a tricky search that can take some time to complete. Many landlords are unwilling to let to someone who has a pet, because of the perceived issues that this can cause with damage, extra wear and tear and other issues like the smells that can be created by pets. 

However, that doesn't mean it's entirely impossible to rent alongside your furry friend. A lot of landlords will simply say no without even thinking about it first, and as long as you follow a few easy steps, you can either talk them round or find somewhere else that will be accommodating to your needs. 

Give yourself time

If you leave your search until the very last minute, the chances of you finding somewhere that you will be able to rent with a pet will be markedly harder. Remember, rental properties are already in high demand at the moment, and pet rentals will be even harder to come by, so leaving it too late will mean a far lower chance of success.

Try to give yourself anywhere between eight and 12 weeks to find a new home to save yourself the panic of trying to get something in the last couple of weeks. 

Be flexible

You might well have a dream property in mind, but when you've got a dog in tow, finding that ideal location and property type may be a little more difficult. When you're searching, be a little flexible with what you're looking for. Seek out properties a little further afield and perhaps a bit different in terms of number of bedrooms to increase your chance of success.

Be honest

If it has been a bit of a struggle to find a place for you and your dog to rent, it can be tempting to just keep quiet about the fact you have a pet and then move them in without the landlord knowing. This is never advisable, and if your landlord happens to find out that you've got a pet in the property without permission, it can invalidate your tenancy and leave you facing immediate eviction. 

Always be up front with the owner - while it might make your search for a home a bit more of a toil, it will be better in the long run as you won't need to worry about invalidating your agreement with the landlord. 

Offer a little more

One way to sweeten the deal for the landlord is to offer a little bit more money than they're asking for. This doesn't necessarily have to mean more rent, and it can just relate to their fears about letting to a pet owner and seek to allay these. For example, if they are worried that your dog might damage the furniture, walls or other fixtures and fittings, offer to pay a bit of a larger tenancy deposit. This safeguards the landlord against any damage when you move out and can help them feel a bit better about the deal.

Another type of payment that is becoming more and more common these days is a one-off pet charge. This would see you offer the landlord a single payment at the start of the tenancy to cover professional cleaning costs when you move out, helping to get rid of the general smell that a dog can leave in the property. 

Show off your pet

Chances are if you are looking to rent with a dog, then it'll be well behaved and trained, and you can make a landlord more likely to let to you simply by showing this off to them. Invite the landlord round to see your pet in the property it lives in now if that's a viable option. If not, offer to bring the dog to meet them. This can help you show how well behaved the dog is, and can increase your chances of getting the green light to rent. 

Make it official

If a landlord agrees to let their property to you and your furry friend, then happy days! Remember, though, it's always important to get something down in writing. This safeguards you against any disputes down the line and cuts out the chance of misunderstandings. It normally means removing a 'no pets' clause from the tenancy agreement, but it can be a good idea to ask them to add in details of the exact pet you'll be keeping as well. 

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