Across the UK, there’s been an increase in the number of people renting their homes, and the numbers wanting a pet. Battersea research suggests that 76% of people living in the private rented sector either already own a pet or aspire to do so in the future. At the same time, major property portal Zoopla reports that just 8% of its current listings are pet-friendly. Clearly something needs to change.

The Renters (Reform) Bill that is currently making its way through parliament aims to ensure that landlords cannot unreasonably withhold consent when a tenant requests to have a pet in their home, with the tenant able to challenge unfair decisions.

At Battersea we’re continuing to lead our Pet Friendly Properties campaign in the hope of achieving long-lasting, societal change, because we believe that everyone should have the choice to experience the joy of pet ownership, no matter where they live. Find out more about the campaign here.

Battersea also offers advice on how to ask your landlord to allow pets in you rented home here.

New research on the economic benefits of renters with pets

A lack of pet friendly housing options is one of the most common reasons that pets are relinquished to Battersea, with approximately one in ten of the animals in Battersea’s care being brought in as a direct result.

Research has already shown that pets provide physical and mental health benefits for owners, saving the NHS £2.45bn a year. Now, new Battersea-commissioned research by the Universities of Huddersfield, Sheffield Hallam and Brunel has found that the total monetary benefits to landlords of letting to tenants with pets exceeds the associated costs.

The report presents a series of findings, including:

  • 65% of pet owners reporting difficulty in finding a rental property.
  • Renters with pets stay longer in their properties than renters without pets, indicating financial and social advantages for both landlords and tenants in fostering longer and more stable tenancies.
  • 76% of landlords letting to pet owners did not encounter any damage caused by dogs or cats in their rental properties.
  • A larger proportion of landlords who rent to pet owners report a positive relationship with their tenants compared to landlords who do not rent to pet owners.

This research bolsters the economic arguments for increasing the availability of pet friendly homes.

For many people, a pet is a key part of their perfect home, and with the availability of housing likely to be a key battleground issue at the next General Election, it’s vital that pets are not forgotten in the debate.

You can read the new research report here.

The views expressed in this content are solely those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views of TDS, its officers, or employees.

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