Renters Reform Checklist
What is the Renters Reform Bill?
Currently, around 45% of landlords are unwilling to rent their properties to pet owners.
The Renters Reform Bill intends to make it easier for tenants with pets, or those wanting to get or rescue a pet, to rent a home. By ensuring landlords can’t unreasonably refuse requests to keep a pet, it is our hope that the Renters Reform Bill will not only increase the number of homes available to responsible pet owners, it also means that pets in rescue centres can have a greater chance of finding a loving forever home.
Although landlords might be cautious about renting to pet owners, the Government is looking at ways that ensure the property remains protected but also supports pet owners.
While there may still be a wait for the Renters Reform Bill to become law, we feel that no family should have to make the heartbreaking decision between having a roof over their head or keeping their much-loved four-legged family member. So, here’s a few steps you could take to help get a landlord to agree to keeping your pet in a rented property…
Preparation is key to securing pet-friendly accommodation
Start your search with pet-friendly properties
Finding properties that are already pet-friendly may save some stress as you search for a new home. While it might be difficult to find a pet-friendly property, this handy ‘Lets with Pets’ guide by Dogs Trust could be a great place to start!
Allow enough time to find the right property, for both you and your pet
By giving yourself plenty of time for your property search, you’re more likely to find a suitable place for you and your pet to call home.
Offer to answer any questions a landlord may have about your pet
It’s important to be open and honest about your pet’s past when discussing them with a potential landlord.
If your pet has been known to damage property previously, certificates of attendance at training classes or providing invoices for behavioural support might be a good first step to proving they’ve changed.
Consider property protection insurance
While it’s not, currently, a legal requirement to protect a rented a property from damage caused by your pet, some landlords might ask whether you have insurance.
Most landlords are likely to have their own pet policy in place – especially if they rent to tenants with pets – which could increase the deposit you may pay.
If you are able to do so, you may also want to consider suggesting an increase to the deposit to cover any potential pet damage. This may give the landlord confidence that their property will be protected.
Showcase your pet
Letting potential landlords know all about your pet might make a difference to their decision to rent their property to you. If your pet is well-behaved and fully house-trained, a landlord is more likely to consider you both as tenants.
Create a pet CV!
Crafting a CV with all your pet’s details won’t just make you stand out from other applicants; it will show a potential landlord that you’re a responsible pet owner.
Here are some details you might want to include, if you’re creating a CV for your pet:
- Size (e.g. for a dog this could be toy, small, medium, large, or giant).
- Note on whether they’re neutered (e.g. Neutered: Yes).
- Note on whether they’re microchipped (e.g. Microchipped: Yes).
- Training record (e.g. standard puppy classes, specialist training, etc.).
- Pet insurance provider.
- Vaccinations record.
- Flea treatment record.
- Worming treatment record.
- Vet contact info. (+ reference, if required).
- Reference from previous landlord (if applicable).
- Work history (e.g. former guide dog, retired police dog, etc.).
- Favourite treat.
- Favourite toy.
- Favourite activity (e.g. for a dog that could be walking in the park, hiking, going the beach, etc.).
We also recommend adding a nice, clear photo of your pet to their CV.
For more advice on making a great CV for your pet, take a look at this Pet CV guide.
Get a reference from your vet and previous landlord(s)
A reference from your vet can confirm your pet is microchipped and up to date with all vaccinations, as well as providing a record of flea and worming treatments. Your vet may also be able to offer a potential landlord peace of mind about your pet’s behaviour.
If you and your pet have lived in a rented property before, a positive reference about your pet from your previous landlord could be helpful.
Be prepared to answer questions about your pet’s health and behaviour
Some landlords might want more than a reference as evidence that your pet is healthy and well-behaved. After providing references, you might still have to answer questions to put a potential landlord’s mind at ease about your pet’s suitability as a tenant.
Let the landlord meet your pet
For a landlord who’s had a bad experience with tenants’ pets in the past, meeting your pet might reassure them that you and your pet could be ideal tenants.
Remember that first impressions can either work for or against you! If there are times of the day when your pet is generally more boisterous or quieter, factor this into any meeting plans you make, so you can be sure your pet will be on their best behaviour for the introduction!
Get permission for your pet
Make sure you have written permission to keep your pet in a rented property.
Any clauses relating to your pet should be added to your tenancy agreement. If in doubt, or if you need advice about this, please speak to a legal professional.
Remember: Never keep your pet in a rented property without the landlord’s permission.
Thanks to the Renters Reform Bill, we’re hopeful there’s a brighter future on the horizon for tenants and their pets. Find out more about the Renters Reform Bill.