Property Blog and News / Renting with pets: How to secure a rental property for you and your pet

Renting with pets: How to secure a rental property for you and your pet

16 March 2023


Jamie Obertelli
Head of PR & Communications

A pet can be a treasured member of the family – but not all landlords are willing to let animal owners take on a tenancy…

Landlords reserve the right to prevent pets from their properties, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rent with a pet. They’ll often make an independent decision on a case-by-case basis, so it’s up to you to prove that you’re a reliable pet owner and will take care of the rented property.

Remember, the reason landlords aren’t keen on having pets in their property is because of the associated risks. They often fear that animals can bring lingering smells, lasting damage, and even complaints from neighbours.

However, while some landlords fear having pets can cause damage and other issues, supporters argue that it can make their property more desirable and encourage their tenants to rent for longer.

According to Landlord Law Services, referring to the Equality Act 2010, “assistance dogs, such as guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for deaf people, and dogs for disabled people” must be permitted by law in a property.

Landlords are also not allowed to charge a higher amount of tenancy deposit if a tenant has a pet. Up to six weeks’ rent (depending on the total annual rent) is the maximum deposit they can take.

And so, what are the rules, and what can you do to get that home with creature comforts? OnTheMarket is here to help.

Top tips for renting with pets.

1. Find houses and flats with pets allowed.

 Before you start with a tenancy you need to find a home with a landlord who allows the type of pet you have. You should mention to your letting agent about your pet, or pets, and they can help find you find some suitable options.

You also need to find a home that is appropriate for your pet – for example, somewhere with enough space for a dog (ideally including a garden) or with cat flaps for a cat.

When searching for your next rental property via OnTheMarket, you can select the ‘pet friendly’ box, meaning any suitable listings, where the agent has included information about the property being pet friendly, will appear in your search results.

2. A letting agent can help make arrangements for your pet.

While pets such as fish, rabbits, and hamsters are generally accepted by landlords. Cats and dogs might need greater negotiation. The agent will be a key intermediary between the prospective tenant and landlord as they can advise from both sides.

3. Get a reference for your pet.

Whilst it might seem excessive in the first instance, getting a positive reference for your pet could go a long way. If you’re currently living in a rented property and the landlord has had a positive experience with your pet, they might be happy to provide a letter of recommendation.

By providing a reference for your pet, you can show that your pet is well behaved and has caused no problems at your current property.

4. Meet the landlord in person.

If your application progresses, it’s worth arranging for you and your pet to meet the landlord. This may alleviate any concerns that your landlord has about allowing your pet to live in their property.

5. Don’t try and conceal your pet from your landlord.

Before you try and pull the wool over a landlord’s eyes and smuggle in your beloved pet, pause for thought.

You should always obtain consent from your landlord before you bring your pet into the property. If you keep an unauthorised pet this could put you at risk of eviction.

6. Get the authorisation to have a pet in writing.

If your application is successful and the landlord agrees to rent to you, make your agreement official.

You should ask for your tenancy agreement to be changed to include a written agreement that the landlord is happy for your pet to live in the property.