Renting in London with a pet

by | May 25, 2024 | Pet Relocation

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Renting in London with a pet can be challenging, but it’s possible with the right approach. Many landlords hesitate to allow pets, but understanding the rules and how to negotiate can help. This guide covers everything you need to know about renting with pets in London.

What Are the Rules on Renting with Pets?

There are no specific laws requiring landlords to accept pets. It’s up to the tenant to negotiate with the landlord before signing the tenancy agreement. In some buildings, especially in Central London, pets are forbidden by the head lease, meaning no pets are allowed in the entire building, even if individual landlords are open to them.

Common Reasons for Landlords Refusing Pets

Landlords have many reasons for not allowing pets in their properties. The most common reasons include:

  • Wear and tear: Pets can cause damage, and many landlords have experienced this.
  • Insurance costs: Many landlords find it difficult to claim pet damage through insurance.
  • Unsuitability: Some properties are too small for certain pets.
  • Neighbor complaints: Noise or mess from pets can disturb neighbors.
  • Irresponsible owners: Some pet owners don’t clean up after their pets.
  • Infestation: Pets can bring fleas and ticks.
  • Leasehold restrictions: Freeholders may forbid pets in their agreements.

Potential Changes to Rules Around Renting with Pets

The Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation Protection Bill proposes changes to allow more tenants to keep pets in rental properties. Government updated its model tenancy agreement to include a clause that allows pets by default. Landlords using this agreement must object in writing within 28 days and provide a valid reason for refusing pets.


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Certificates of Guardianship

The Bill proposes that tenants who wish to keep a pet must have a certificate of responsible animal guardianship. Registered vets would issue these certificates after a ‘responsible ownership test.’ A vet would check for microchipping, de-worming, de-fleaing, vaccinations, and the pet’s ability to respond to commands.

Pet Insurance

Since the Tenant Fees Act 2019, landlords and letting agents cannot charge fees beyond deposits and rent. The Bill proposes allowing landlords to charge tenants a pet insurance fee to cover any potential damage caused by pets. Tenants would not be compelled to take out insurance, but it would be an option.

No Automatic Rights for Tenants

If the Bill becomes law, tenants would not have an automatic right to keep a pet. However, landlords could only decline requests if the pet is a risk or nuisance.

Landlord Exemption Certificates

Landlords could apply for an exemption certificate if:

  • They or another tenant have a religious reason for avoiding pets.
  • Themselves or another tenant have a medical reason for avoiding pets.
  • The property is unsuitable for pets.


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Is it Hard to Find a Pet-Friendly Flat in London?

Finding a pet-friendly flat in London can be tough. If your landlord owns the property as a leaseholder, the decision on whether pets are allowed lies with the freeholder. If the freeholder has a clause banning pets, your landlord cannot rent the property as pet-friendly. If you’re renting through a letting agent, they should clarify if pets are permitted by the freeholder.

How to Rent with a Pet: Great Tips for Tenants

Provide Proof That Your Pet Won’t Be a Problem Offer vaccination records and proof of responsible pet ownership. If the Bill becomes law, you might need an official certificate of responsible guardianship.

Get References from Previous Landlords If you’ve rented with your pet before and it was a good experience for your landlord, ask for a reference. This can reassure your new landlord about your pet’s behavior.

Offer to Pay for Pet Insurance Since landlords can’t charge additional deposits due to the Tenant Fees Act 2019, offer to cover a portion of your landlord’s insurance to cover potential pet damage.

Pay for a Post-Tenancy Deep Clean Many landlords worry about cleanliness after a tenancy ends. Offer to pay for a professional deep clean to remove pet hair and odors.

Don’t Breach Your Tenancy Agreement If your landlord refuses your pet request, don’t keep a pet secretly. This could breach your agreement and give your landlord grounds to evict you.

Ask for Permission in Writing If your landlord agrees to allow a pet, ensure this permission is documented in writing or added to your tenancy agreement.

What Can I Do if My Landlord Refuses My Pets?

Until the Renters (Reform) Bill becomes law, landlords can ban pets from their properties. If you want to keep a pet, you must have your landlord’s written permission.

You should also be aware of the Model Tenancy Agreement (MTA), the government’s recommended contract for landlords. The MTA says consent for pets is the default position, and landlords must object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request and provide a good reason.

Landlords can increase your deposit to cover potential pet damage, but it still can’t exceed the deposit cap outlined in the Tenant Fees Act 2019.

Finding Rental Properties That Allow Pets

Finding a home for you and your pets means looking in the right places. Many websites allow visitors to filter search results by “pets allowed.” If you find a place you like, speak to the landlord or letting agent. If you’re a responsible pet owner, put any request in writing. Be prepared for the landlord to ask for a larger rental deposit to cover potential damages from having a pet.

Avoiding Issues When Renting with Pets

Getting permission to keep a pet in the home you rent is exciting, but there are some things you should do to ensure you keep as much of your deposit as possible:

  • Clean up after your pet and keep it quiet when neighbors are sleeping.
  • If your pet damages the property, tell your landlord and arrange a repair before moving out to avoid expensive deposit charges.

How LondonRelocation.com Can Help with Renting in London with a Pet

Navigating the complexities of renting in London with a pet can be challenging, but LondonRelocation.com is here to help. Our expert team provides personalized assistance in finding pet-friendly rentals, negotiating with landlords, and managing all the necessary paperwork. We understand the unique challenges of moving with pets and offer tailored solutions to ensure a smooth and stress-free relocation experience. Let LondonRelocation.com take care of the details so you and your pet can settle into your new London home with ease.


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Conclusion

Renting in London with a pet can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Understanding the rules, negotiating with landlords, and following best practices can help you find a pet-friendly home. From dealing with potential landlord refusals to preparing proper documentation, being proactive is key. Remember, the new Renters (Reform) Bill aims to make renting with pets easier, but until it becomes law, following these tips will improve your chances.

For personalized assistance in finding the perfect pet-friendly rental in London, contact LondonRelocation.com. Our expert team is here to make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible. Reach out to us today and let us help you and your furry friend settle into your new London home.

FAQ: Renting in London with a Pet

Can landlords refuse pets in London?

Yes, landlords can refuse pets in London. However, the new Renters (Reform) Bill aims to make it harder for landlords to issue blanket bans on pets.

Is it hard to find pet-friendly apartments in London?

It can be challenging to find pet-friendly apartments in London, as many landlords are hesitant to allow pets.

Can you rent with pets in the UK?

Yes, you can rent with pets in the UK, but it often requires negotiation with the landlord and finding properties that explicitly allow pets.

Landlords refuse pets in the UK in 2024?

As of 2024, landlords can still refuse pets. However, under the new Renters (Reform) Bill, they must have a reasonable reason to do so.

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