The Demand For Pet-Friendly Lets And Their Impact On Landlords
For many years, pet owners have struggled to find rental properties. Understandably, landlords can have reservations about having pets as tenants due to potential issues with damage to the property, potential risk of pest infestation and managing pest control, and potential noise pollution concerns.
However, despite the concerns that some landlords may have, there is a significant market for offering properties as pet-friendly rentals. Over the pandemic, pet ownership has increased dramatically. In 2021, 59% of UK households had pets at home, and this number continues to grow.
With pet ownership increasing, so does the number of people looking for pet-friendly lets. Rightmove has reported an 120% increase in searches for pet-friendly lettings in the last year. So offering your property as pet-friendly could be tapping into a new search pool of potential tenants.
Attracting Generation Rent
Generation Rent is a term coined for those between 24-and 35 years old who typically rent more than they buy. This is because this age range is typically priced out of home-ownership and has no alternative than to rent. Alternatively, this sector is also known as choosing to rent as a lifestyle choice too.
For landlords, this sector can be very lucrative. What’s more, a third of ‘Generation Rent’ are pet-owners. Consequently, offering pet-friendly lettings and creating a set-up that welcomes this age range helps landlords to target a sector of the population that is more focused on renting.
The Benefits Of Offering Pet-Friendly Lets
For landlords, it may seem that the risks of allowing pets are more than the benefits. However, offering pet-friendly properties can deliver landlords several advantages.
The first is that you’re widening the audience base. Offering pet-friendly accommodation helps you to attract a wider pool of potential tenants. Those with pets will often search specifically for pet-friendly listings. By having your property in this category, your property will be in an in-demand sector.
For example, in London, the Dogs Trust has found that 78% of renters have difficulty finding a rental property that accommodates their pets.
The second benefit is that those with pets are typically more interested in longer-term renting to ensure security for their pet. Focusing on this sector as a landlord can help to secure long-term tenants. This can be more cost-effective for landlords as acquiring new tenants usually costs more than supporting existing tenants.
What To Consider When Offering Pet-Friendly Lets
For your accommodation, you may want to assess whether it’s suitable for pets. For example, are garden areas fully fenced, are you happy for catflaps to be installed, and are all vents safely covered?
You may also want to consider adding clauses to your rental contract. For example, it is possible to state the requirement for regular flea and tick treatment and that any pet or pest damage must be notified and paid for.
In some instances, tenants can provide ‘Pet CVs’ that offer testimonials from previous landlords to show that their pets are well-behaved, ‘good tenants’.
With pet ownership set to rise and the demand for pet-friendly accommodation increases, and the fact the government is looking for ways to make letting with pets easier, this could be well worth considering when renting out your properties.