Renting With Pets

Whether you like animals or not, there’s no denying that Britain is a nation who adores their pets! The proof is in the numbers, with 10.9 million pet cats and 9.9 million pet dogs keeping our nation company. The problem is that more and more people are renting well into their thirties in the UK and beyond, however many landlords will do what they can to enforce a no-pet policy.

Renters do actually have rights when it comes to keeping their pets in rental properties and although a landlord can refuse a pet, they must have the right grounds to do so. If you’re trying to move into a flat with a Great Dane, understandably your landlord can refuse. If you’re trying to move in with an unproblematic cat, it may be more difficult for them to refuse - but unfortunately, it’s definitely not off the table.

Why do landlords so often refuse pets?

Let’s be fair; if you’re not keen on animals, you’re not going to want your tenant's pet running around your property. As loveable as they are, pets do raise one or two issues. They’re issues that are easy for us as pet owners to overlook but for a landlord, things like damage and odours can become a real worry.

If you own a pet, you’ll know that pets are not house proud. They might entertain a bit of scratching here and a bit of biting there and for a young and untrained animal, toileting inside is not an issue. Another big worry for landlords is pet allergies. Pet fur gets everywhere and if a future tenant with a pet allergy moves into the property, this could cause issues for the landlord.

What can I do to persuade my landlord to let me keep my pet?

If your pet knows right from wrong, it can be frustrating when a landlord rejects you. Pets should be treated as a case by case basis, and if you can prove that your pet is well behaved then your landlord shouldn’t have the grounds to say no. If it hasn’t already been mentioned, ask your landlord if you can put down a higher deposit in order to keep your pet. This extra money in the bank can go towards any repairs or cleaning costs when you come to move out.

A landlord will almost always have landlord insurance, so it’s worth asking them whether their policy covers accidental pet damage. If not, there’s plenty of landlord insurance policies out there to compare that’ll cover against a number of pet-related worries.

Encourage your landlord to meet your pet in your current home so that they can get a good idea of its characteristics. Chances are, they’ll see how lovely and well behaved your pet is and it’ll put their mind at ease. If you’ve rented previously with your pet, you could even get a reference from your previous landlord to prove how wonderfully well-behaved they are!

Definitely chat with your potential landlord and explain your situation. If you’re the perfect tenant in all other aspects, hopefully, they can overlook any reasoning to reject you on the basis of your pet. If you don’t have a pet yet but you’ve been renting from your landlord for a little while and would like to bring one into your home, work on building up that trust and rapport with your landlord that’ll make it difficult for them to say no. After all, if you’re settled in a nice place to rent with your pet, it’s unlikely that you’ll be moving out and leaving your landlord to find new tenants anytime soon - a big plus-point for both parties.

*Collaborative post


  1. I find the same problem - especially in the UK - when looking for pet-friendly holiday cottages. Sometimes only the most basic accommodations accept pets (as all owners are clearly slobs!) or they add so many additional charges for the pets or mega cleaning afterwards. Alas it makes it much cheaper to travel into Europe

  2. With so many people owning pets in UK chances are that your land lord has pets too. I would hope for that. It is really good to know your opinions before moving with a pet. Great article in general.

  3. Great advice! We're about to get a cat, but luckily we own our house.

  4. Some great advice here Melissa for pet owners. It’s a shame some bad experiences spoil it for everyone sometimes. Cute photos