A survey of landlords, letting agents and tenants on pets and rental properties, conducted by YouGov* on behalf of Dogs Trust and Cats Protection found that:
- 46% of landlords say they will allow pets, however, only 9% of owners say their properties were advertised as pet-friendly
- damage to the property is the main reason for not allowing pets but just 20-21% of cases resulted in property damage. 73% of landlords who have allowed pets have reported no problems.
- 94% of tenants say their cat has some form of positive impact on their life, and 98% say the same about their dogs. Pets have a positive impact on the quality of life and mental health of their owners. Happy tenants may also mean longer, more secure tenancies resulting in stability for landlords
- a third of cases where pets weren’t allowed was not due to a proactive decision made by the landlord, but rather by default
- 33% of private landlords who don’t currently allow pets in any/all of their properties say nothing would persuade them to
- 43% of letting agents say their agency uses the pet clause in the Model Tenancy Agreement and only 23% of landlords are aware of the update to the UK government’s voluntary Model Tenancy Agreement in February 2021 – the government therefore must step in and ensure there is equal opportunity for responsible tenants to own pets
- only 16% of private tenants had asked their landlord/letting agent for permission to keep a dog but, of those, the landlord/letting agent agreed in nine in 10 cases
- if a landlord or letting agent requested it, 86% of tenants are willing to commit to a professional clean at end of tenancy (cats and dogs), 83% of cat-owning tenants and 87% of dog-owning tenants are willing to pay for any damage that may be caused by their pets
- 50% of private landlords who don’t currently allow pets in any/all of their properties said that tenants agreeing to have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy would persuade them to allow cats or dogs. 49% said they would agree to pets if tenants took out pet damage insurance, 23% said the same if the tenant agreed to pay extra rent
What we are calling for
Based on this polling and further insights within our organisations, Cats Protection and Dogs Trust are calling for government action to reform the private rental sector to make it fairer for pets and their owners. Allowing tenants in rented accommodation to keep a cat or dog has a positive impact on the tenant’s life, can mean that tenants feel more at home in the property and potentially stay longer, and importantly, means fewer animals will be needlessly relinquished from their loving homes to organisations such as Cats Protection and Dogs Trust due to difficulties with accommodation. While we understand that it is important that landlords remain in control of their properties, we feel that responsible pet owners must be given more consideration to keep pets in rented accommodations.
We are asking for support of the Renters Reform Bill along with any other measures, which will make it easier for responsible tenants to have pets in their homes by giving all responsible tenants the right to request a pet in their house, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse.
Find out more about our Purrfect Landlords campaign:
*Fieldwork was undertaken between 9 December 2021-28 December 2021. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 923 private landlords, 2,008 private tenants, 253 letting agents. The survey was carried out online. The figures for the landlords and tenants surveys have been weighted and are representative of these groups in the UK (aged 16+). Further details and figures are available upon request.