If our fascination with slapping a bulldog on everything from coats of arms to bumper stickers did not tip you off – Great Britain is a country of dog lovers. We probably love our four-legged friends more than we care about other human beings. Yet finding a decent place to stay with a dog in London is a pain in the neck.
The competition is high, some places, especially zone 1, are rented out in a matter of hours so it really doesn’t make a lot of sense for a landlord to risk having a dog in his property. Why take the chance when there’s an army of people with shiny references waiting around the corner?
Because dogs are adorable, that’s why!
Yes, finding a decent flat for you and your canine companion might be slightly more challenging, but the task is far from being impossible. Especially if you are willing to follow these 10 simple tips.
1. Don’t lie
We’ve all seen stories on the internet about people who were so desperately willing to get that flat that’s just too perfect but not pet-friendly that they lied to their landlord about owning a dog.
We’ve never a happy end to these tales though. For all intents and purposes – don’t be that guy. Don’t lie to your landlord. Never.
It may not seem like that big of a deal at first, but once you’ll get into all sorts of legal trouble leading to a particularly poor recommendation that will practically ban you from renting a decent place in the future, you’ll probably regret you never looked for alternative options.
2. Avoid zone 1 if you are not willing to pay top dollar (pound)
One may believe that landlords are the only obstacle between them and the flat of their dreams. That’s not entirely true though. You’d be surprised, but in most cases, the landlords themselves don’t mind dogs at all but they can’t help you because they own a property, not an entire building.
You see, the lion’s share of relatively affordable places in Zone 1 are purpose-built structures or, in simpler words, apartment complexes. They are owned by corporate entities that set up the rules even the landlords have to follow and you don’t need us to tell you about how soulless corporate lawyers can get when coming up with this kind of stuff.
That said, an apartment complex is probably not the best place for your dog anyway, so no real loss here. Feel free to look for better options near green spaces in Zones 2, and 3. Or, alternatively, you can look at some of the more exclusive options in the center of London.
We’d love to help you with both options, by the way with our pet-friendly relocation service.
3. Make a CV for your pupster
You’d be surprised, but the landlords nowadays pay more attention to paperwork than Fortune 500 companies. Especially when it comes to background checks.
Yes, many property owners nowadays expect to see a dog’s resume. And even if they don’t, still make one. It tells much more about you as a responsible owner than it does about the puppy anyway.
Here’s a list of things you are to include:
- A photo (make sure it is the most adorable one, of course)
- Information about the age of your friend, the breed, vaccinations, etc.
- Everything that might help you land the deal like basic training info, awards (if any), certifications, and positive traits of character.
- And, just in case, here is a handy CV tool for you.
4. More paperwork
A CV alone won’t cut the deal. You’ll need a lot more paperwork than that:
- References from previous landlords will help;
- So will the references from a veterinarian;
- Recommendations and characteristics from kennels and trainers are also more of a necessity nowadays.
5. Try offering more
We don’t advise you on this particular tactic as we know that there’s plenty of fish in the sea (and we also know that we can help you find a great place in under a day), but if you fell in love with a flat that’s not friendly to pets, you can always negotiate by offering more money. A thick paycheck usually settles many issues at a bat of an eye.
6. Read your tenancy agreements carefully
As hard as it is to admit this, spoken words and gentlemen’s agreements mean little in our bureaucracy-filled world. Your landlord may say that it is OK for you to live in his property with a dog, but unless your tenancy (lease) explicitly states that you are indeed fine, don’t sign it.
Here is the thing: your landlord may be fine with pets today, but if something changes tomorrow, you won’t have any legal protection without a document proving you are in the right.
7. Don’t be scared of the city
As we’ve said before, London is a paradise on earth both for dogs and their owners. The amount of pet-friendly parks, green spaces, pubs, restaurants and all kinds of other public places is simply out of this world.
Learn more about your area and you’ll have at least a dozen of favorite spots visit with your faithful companion.
8. Offer professional cleaning services
A kind word can get you far. A useful promise that is beneficial to the recipient will get you further. You can offer to take care of ordering a professional cleaning service to take a lot of weight from your landlord’s back, potently tipping the scales in your favor.
9. Make sure the moving day won’t be too stressful for your pet
Your dog is as used to your home as you are. Taking it to a different city or even country with you will cause a lot of stress. Make sure you are making the journey as easy on the little guy as possible. Favorite chew toys, a comfortable container, and a delicious snack should do the trick.
10. Get professionals on your side
Why go through the hustle alone, if you can have a professional pet relocation agency at your side? We, for once, have 15 years of experience in helping expats with pets settle in London. Feel free to give us a call.