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Pet friendly tenancies could boost rents

Thursday 11 January 2018

Landlords could consider 'pet friendly' tenancy agreements to avoid missing out on a large chunk of the market, after a survey revealed more than a quarter of tenants would be prepared to pay more rent to live with a pet.

Some 28 per cent of private rental sector tenants would pay extra, at £24 a month on average, a poll of more than 3,200 people found.

Women were more likely to say they would pay more than men, with nearly a third (31 per cent) saying they would pay additional fees to live with their pet in their rental property, compared with 23 per cent of men.

The research, carried out by LSL Corporate Client Department, a sister company of estate and letting agency network Your Move and
Reeds Rains, also found that only 4 per cent of tenants would pay extra for bike storage, with those who would pay more willing to pay £11 typically.

Younger tenants were found to be particularly keen to pay extra if it meant living with a pet, with 31 pper cent of 18 to 35-year-olds saying they would be happy to pay extra, at £25.55 more each month on average.

Meanwhile, 22 per cent of those aged 55 and over would pay more to live with their pet, being prepared to pay £19 above their normal monthly rental payment.

Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: "Our research clearly shows that being able to live with a pet is a huge incentive for some tenants."

He suggested that landlords could request a slightly higher deposit, six weeks instead of four, to protect the property; or even increase the monthly rent 'to cover the cost of any pet-related damage.'

David Bowles, head of public affairs at the RSPCA, said: "Pets are part of our families and, as well as being wonderful companions, they also bring us many benefits for our health and general well-being.

"We encourage landlords to allow tenants to take pets into homes as this allows the opportunity for more rescue pets from charities such as the RSPCA to find loving new homes.

"Sadly it can cause a lot of distress and upset when families aren't able to take their pet with them when they move to a new property, and charities such as the RSPCA can be left to pick up the pieces.

"We have produced booklets for housing agencies and landlords giving them useful and practical advice if they need it."

The percentages of tenants willing to pay more to live with a pet and the average extra amount they would be prepared to pay per month, according to the research from Your Move and Reeds Rains:

Wales, 43 per cent, £9.33
East of England, 29 per cent, £27.45
North East, 29 per cent, £24.11
London, 15 per cent, £22.81
North West, 30 per cent, £24.34
Yorkshire, 30 per cent, £22.67
East Midlands, 33 per cent, £23.47
West Midlands, 28 per cent, £22.45
South East, 24 per cent, £24.86
South West, 29 per cent, £25.07
Scotland, 30 per cent, £23.02

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