It used to be extremely rare for rentals to cater to London's cats and dogs. But things are changing in the world of lettings, and pet friendliness is becoming an increasingly hot topic.
A photographer on our team was recently requested to shoot at a beautiful prime apartment for sale, in a building owned by a larger company. During the shoot, the owner called in a darling little dog, and asked for him to be featured. Why? Because, while many prime company-owned locations like this wouldn’t allow for animals in the building, this particular one is dog-friendly, and the savvy owner knew this was a feature potential buyers would be very interested in. It was a fun shoot, this pup was the perfect model and also a really good boy, he’ll have you know.
Pet-friendliness is something we keep hearing about, especially in lettings. These days, tenants have access to a much wider variety of letting options, so they're taking a good, hard look at what they want in a rental agreement. The perfect example is the changing conversation around pets in rentals. Rightmove recorded a 120% increase in demand for pet-friendly lets when comparing summer in 2021 to summer in 2020.
However, it’s not only tenants driving this conversation. Pet-friendly lets also come up when we talk strategy for Build to Rent properties – high-end, bespoke apartment buildings with fantastic amenities like gyms, pools, communal areas, office space, concierge, cinemas. According to the 2021 HomeViews National Build to Rent report, 51.8% of Build to Rent schemes are pet friendly. Landlords are aware of Build to Rent too, and how this lifestyle might enchant their target audience. Most landlord can’t throw a heated pool into their back gardens, so they’re beginning to look at other ways to make their properties stand out against the competition, like bike racks, property management services, and yes, pets.
Catering to “Generation Rent”
Landlords can approach pet-friendly letting with the same strategy Build to Rent developers have with their amenities. Instead of targeting tenants who need a place for a year or two on the path to home-ownership, worthy amenities can make tenancy a long-term option. This is a great way to cater to Generation Rent – the 24 to 35 age group that has either been priced out of buying or chooses renting as a lifestyle choice, rather than a short-term solution. A study by Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association found over a third of young adults in that same 24-35 age range became new pet owners or had plans to become pet owners since lockdown. Allowances for pets can help landlords target this group with a more permanent renting situation. After all, renters who’ve found a house that their furry friend is comfortable in won’t let it go too easily, so that’s less often the landlord will have to pay to put their property back on the market.
The Claws Clause
Of course, pets bring the same concern they always have for landlords: damage. Removing odours, stains, pests and pet dander can be costly. Landlords who choose to go pet-friendly should consider some clauses in their tenancy agreement, like:
- pet-related property damage
- pest-removal services
- acceptable noise levels
- required flea and tick treatments
Ultimately, landlords should remember they don't have to say yes to any pet. The pet needs to be well behaved, in a good relationship with its owner, and a right fit for the property. A 75 kg St. Bernard is not going to be happy in a studio apartment. An outdoor cat will need a garden just as much as a dog does.
A home for you and your little dog, too
A survey from the Dogs Trust found that 78% of London renters have difficulty finding lets that accept their pets. It can be frustrating, but Foxtons is here to help. We work with landlords who are willing to consider pets, and some even cater to the four-legged, like this new build development in Croydon. You can enjoy many stylish common areas including a sky garden, a games lounge, a screening room, and most importantly for pet lovers: an onsite pet spa!
1 bed apartments | £1,431 pcm | Central Croydon
2 bed apartment | £1,195,000 | Kensington
This spacious 2 bed home has extraordinary character and the perfect garden for paws to scamper around. In fact, it's currently home to an adorable Hungarian Puli.
1 bed apartment | £1,350 pcm | Guildford
A gorgeous Guildford apartment with a stylish fitted kitchen, high ceilings, and a communal garden for you and a furry friend to enjoy.
2 bed apartment | £1,650 pcm | Hounslow
This stunning pet-friendly new development in Hounslow has access to a private terrace, residents’ gym, communal gardens and this impressive residents’ lounge:
2 bed apartment | £1,750,000 | Chelsea
This apartment’s gorgeous period features – the arched windows, brick accent walls, feature fireplace – are stylishly presented to bring out its character. You and your pet will fall in love.
3 bed apartment | £2,000,000 | Sloane Square
Between the verdant patio garden, the large entertaining space, the three bedrooms and communal gardens, there’s plenty of room for both humans and pets to spread out with this Sloane Square apartment.
1 bed apartment | £1,910 pcm | Tottenham
We have a few apartments available in this brand new building, featuring large windows to show off the incredible views. Small pets would be happy here, and so would you when taking in the gorgeous skyline from the rooftop terrace.
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- Some of the real estate photography in this article is from the Foxtons in-house team. Our team shoots photos for landlords and sellers, which makes all the difference when marketing a home. Good photography shows properties in their best light, highlights what makes each place unique and guides tenants and buyers to homes they’ll love.