How to let with a pet: your guide to renting with a pet

Searching for a rental property can be daunting, but these tips can help you negotiate

Searching for a rental property can be daunting, but these tips can help you negotiate - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

North London has plenty of homes suitable for four legged friends, so how do you go about finding the right property for your pupper?

Not all landlords are open to letting you rent with a petl, but there are some who will under certai

Not all landlords are open to letting you rent with a petl, but there are some who will under certain conditions - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

North London is a mecca for mutts, fertile ground for your hound, playground for your pup, a daydream for your doggo with a list that will never end of places to rent with your four legged friend.

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Lettings at Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings in Hampstead said: “Tenants with a canine companion often move to particular areas such as Hampstead, Highgate, Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park because they are close to parks and open spaces ideal for walking their dog.”

According to HomeLet, 57.4% of landlords exclude pet-owning tenants from their properties, with pet owners on average taking 7 times longer than non-pet owners to find accomodation according to The Dogs Trust.

So where do you go when it’s playtime for your canine? How do you go about finding the right property for your pooch and just how easy is it to let with a pet?

Dog walkers on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Polly Hancock

Dog walkers on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Tips for renting with pets

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Mr von Grundherr offered his top tips for renters looking with pets. He said: “Consider the property itself. A lower ground floor flat with a garden can be ideal for a pet-owning tenant, because they provide outside space for a dog or cat to explore or run around. Properties with balconies or roof terraces are less attractive due to the dangers of their pets climbing up the railings.

1. Be honest

Dogs dinner party at Gaucho Hampstead in aid of Hounds for Heroes. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Dogs dinner party at Gaucho Hampstead in aid of Hounds for Heroes. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

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Size matters, so give your landlord as much information as possible about whether you’ve got a Chihuahua or a Great Dane. Don’t forget to include details of who will look after it if you go away and provide the backlog of vaccinations and worming treatments. It might be a good idea to get a reference from your previous tenant to show that your pet isn’t a mischievous mutt or moggy.

2. Be flexible

Let your agent know that you are looking with a pet to give them the widest scope to scout out suitable property for you. If you’re too specific about what you’re looking for, you may end up being disappointed.

3. Be reasonable

Highgate's Hair of the Dog offers treats and pampering for your canine companion

Highgate's Hair of the Dog offers treats and pampering for your canine companion - Credit: Archant

If having a pet is a point of contention, you could offer to pay a higher deposit and/or let your landlord say hello to the little fellow before you sign. That way, they’ll know you’re serious about moving and will treat the property with respect. By offering to cover damage or pay for cleaning, the landlord is far more likely to say yes.

Mr von Grundherr adds: “we ask for a higher deposit, 8–10 weeks’ rent, and sometimes a payment to cover a thorough clean at the end of the tenancy.”

However, the newly announced tenant’s fees ban will efffectively prohibit landlords demanding higher deposits to cover damage.

4. Be savvy

Highgate Woods

Highgate Woods - Credit: Archant

Make sure to add a pet clause to your tenancy agreement in writing including the details of the pet, its breed, name and any other details. This will make things easier if a problem does come up. “We also add a pet-related clause to the tenancy agreement but we find most tenants with pets are very responsible,” said Mr von Grundherr.

5. Be-have

Mr von Grundherr said: “we’ve found that some landlords are reluctant to rent to a tenant with a pet, generally because they are concerned about damage/wear and tear to the property.” So be a good tenant! Make sure your dog is wormed and checked for fleas at regular intervals, look after your property and make sure the dog is toilet-trained. If your rental property is furnished, ensure you’ve got plenty of chew toys to avoid a disaster zone.

Parkland Walk

Parkland Walk - Credit: Archant

Tips for landlords

And what of advice for landlords thinking about opening up their buy to let properties to those with pets? “Landlords who are willing to adopt a pet friendly approach are at a distinct advantage because it considerably opens up the market of prospective tenants- ensuring the property is let quickly with minimal void periods,” said Mr von Grundherr.

Refusing pet owners reduces the number of enquiries a landlord could receive. “Many landlords though are coming round to the idea of allowing a pet in their property and our local branches report that around 60 per cent of landlords do not have an issue with pets, as long as the freeholder of the property allows it,” said Mr von Grundherr.

“We find most pet owners make excellent tenants. They tend to stay long term (possibly because they find it harder to find a property where their pet is welcome) and are sometimes willing to pay a slight premium to cover any additional wear and tear.”

The Bull and Last

The Bull and Last - Credit: Archant

Best places for dog walks

Hampstead Heath

A Mecca for mutts of all shapes and sizes, Hampstead Heath offers nearly 800 acres of woodland and green, green grass to run your furry friend in. Views of the city from Parliament Hill are arguably the best in London.

Greenberry cafe

Greenberry cafe - Credit: Archant

Parkland Walk

The Parkland Walk is one of the most popular walks in north London, following the old railway from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace over four and a half miles. Let your dog go wild with the smells of the ivy, fig trees, butterflies and hedgehogs, but mind out for the dreaded fox poo.

Highgate Wood

Nearby to Hampstead Heath, you’ll find 70 acres of ancient woodland in Highgate Wood. Go in spring to let your dog ramble amongst the bluebells, and when walkies are over, head to the café for a light bite.

Munching mongrels

Best for pub grub…The Bull and Last next door to the Heath offers marrow bones and pig’s ears for canine companions as you munch on your Sunday roast. The Red Lion and Sun is another favourite for four legged friends.

Best for posh pooches…Gaucho Hampstead offers brunch specially for dogs on the first Sunday of the month where glamorous doggos are offered nutritionist-approved empanadas and a goodie bag, all at the cost of £5 for an animal charity.

Best for sea dogs…The Narrow Boat in Islington makes sure pets are well fed with water and biscuits whilst you take in the views on the Regent’s Canal.

Best for a sweet treat…Finks Salt and Sweet in Highbury offers delicious deli food as well as cake and beer for two legged folk, whilst well behaved four legged friends are welcome to sit on your lap as you chow down in the former Victorian butcher’s.

Best for little dogs…The Greenberry Café in Primrose Hill welcomes ‘well behaved’ pups to its rustic café offering brunch, lunch, dinner and light bites.

Shopaholics’ frolics

Best for glamazons…Take your pet shopping at Jessica De Lotz on Fortess Road where the jeweller has teamed up with Houndworthy to create bespoke dog-friendly jewellery for both you and your pooch.

Best for pampered puppies…Take your pupper to Hair of the Dog in Highgate where you will find all things canine and feline, as well as a grooming service.

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