As we enter into a new year and a changing lettings market, we’re looking at why it could be a good idea for landlords to embrace tenants with pets…
Christmas likely brought with it lots of presents, festive celebrations and plenty of time spent with family, friends and, of course, pets. According to online marketplace OnBuy.com, Britons were expected to lavish some £750m on their pets over last Christmas. 76% of UK pet owners even give their pets a Christmas dinner!
And yet, many pet lovers are deprived of the pleasure to spoil their furry friends. Analysts Mintel revealed that fewer households now own a pet, with just over half (56%) of Brits now owning one – down from 63% in 2012.
Among other reasons, one explanation for the fall in pet ownership is that more people are now renting rather than owning their own homes.
Many tenants with pets have a tough time finding a suitable rental home, as landlords often don’t embrace the idea of having an animal living in their property. And, since the trend of renting is set to rise even further, providing more pet friendly homes is a priority.
Steve Bennett, the CEO of DogFriendly, comments: “One of the most common questions that we receive from dog owners is: Where can they find private landlords who will allow dogs? I know from personal experience that having a dog, or as in my case dogs, the choice of properties available to my family was severely restricted.
“Accommodation suppliers who welcome dogs tell us that dog owners usually take more care of their rooms and their properties than non-dog owners – so it really is time for landlords to recognise that one in three households own a dog, which is a massive potential market too many landlords are still ignoring”.
One tenant’s pet, Astro, is settling into his rental accommodation well
However, there is still hope for tenants with pets. In its quest to offer homes that meet renters’ needs, Build to Rent developer Be strives to accommodate animal friends by providing pet-friendly tenancies at its new be:here Hayes development in west London.
The scheme delivers units priced from £1,200 per month for one-bedroom homes and £1,450 for two-beds, all with either a garden, terrace or balcony.
be:here Hayes’ Assistant Property Manager, Akash Sharma, says: “Some of our pet-friendly apartments have large, private and secure gardens, perfect for furry friends to run around – that’s pretty unique in apartment living, especially in London. We try to help our four-legged residents adjust to their new homes by giving them special attention (and even some tasty treats) on move-in day.”
Indeed, by making more room for furry pals, Be might influence tenants’ health for the better, as recent research has proved that pets boost healthier lifestyles. Not only does dog ownership slow down the ageing process, but it also cuts the risk of death from heart disease by 36%, a Swedish study in the journal Scientific Reports has shown. Ultimately, it adds that, in house and flat shares, deaths from heart attacks are lowered by 15%.
Abhishek Krishna is just one tenant benefitting from the new scheme. Having moved to London early last year, Abhishek knew that he would have a pet at some point. With this in mind, he began searching for pet-friendly apartments close to London Heathrow. Despite having two months to look for a new home, Abhishek struggled to find somewhere that accepted tenants with pets.
Upon passing Blyth Road one day, Abhishek noticed the newly built Gatefold apartments and fixed an appointment for a viewing. Positively, pet-friendly apartments were offered and he moved in within two weeks.
Abhishek now lives there with his greyhound Astro, which he describes as a “40-mph couch potato”. With his spacious apartment, both Abhishek and Astro have settled in well.