Pet friendly renting | Attract better tenants

At home working with my pet

Part three – Pet friendly renting

The Covid-19 pandemic has been an extremely testing time for everyone involved in the rental sector, and it will have repercussions for many years to come. One thing that is clear is that tenants will have far different expectations of their home than they did four months ago. To help landlords, we’re putting together a series of articles explaining how they can unlock the potential of their properties, and offer homes fit for this new era.

Today, in part three, we’re covering how to make your property stand out through pet-friendly tenancies.

As the impact of the pandemic was felt throughout the past four months, one common reaction has been people seeking out new means of companionship while their usual places to socialise – workplaces, a gym, or even the pub – have been closed.

One way to get instant and loyal companionship in lockdown has been to get a pet. Britain has always been a nation of pet lovers, with 44 percent of Britons’ owning a pet, but demand has skyrocketed during lockdown. The Kennel Club group reported a 180% increase in inquiries over 2019 back in June.

But the private rental sector has never been particularly welcoming to pets, with government research from earlier last year finding that only seven out of 100 of landlords advertise their homes as being suitable for pets.

But with thousands if not millions across the country looking for an animal companion, and the increasing trend of millennials renting for longer than any previous generation, now is the time to reconsider the opportunity of pet friendly tenancies.

Standing out from the crowd

The simplest argument in favour of offering a pet friendly rental property is that it will make your property more attractive to potential tenants. With less than one in ten rental homes advertised as pet friendly, you can quickly stand out on portals like Rightmove and Zoopla.

Attracting better tenants

Beyond attempting to reduce void periods by attracting new tenants, you should also consider that allowing tenants to have pets can encourage them to stay for longer. A young couple with a new kitten or a family with a beloved dog is going to be less keen to move regularly, giving you as the landlord much more stability – especially as we approach an increasingly uncertain economic future.

This has been backed up in surveys, with YouGov and Mars Petcare finding that just over half of residents would be likely to consider a longer tenancy if their landlord allowed pets.

Staying protected

But of course so far this has not addressed the issues surrounding increased risk for the landlord. This is where flatfair comes in.

With flatfair, landlords can benefit from added protection against unwanted risk, and tenants can pick from a far wider pool of properties if they have or want pets. Ultimately this will make the rental experience better for everyone, leaving tenants more satisfied, and in many cases more keen to stay put helping reduce turnover of tenancies and void periods.

This is especially important for BTL and smaller-scale landlords at a time where big institutional investors are coming in and attempting to reinvent the rental experience. It is clear that aspects of the rental experience are becoming streamlined and professionalised for tenants. Indeed, a number of new BTR developments are directly marketing off the fact that they offer pet-friendly renting.

Thankfully, tools like flatfair can give landlords peace of mind, meaning there’s no reason to not see a pet-friendly revolution across the entire rental sector.