Property portal Rightmove has revealed the staggering increase in demand for pet-friendly rental properties compared to last summer.
With many tenants forced to remain in their homes throughout 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the desire for additional household companions saw a surge in pet ownership.
This significant rise meant that as the property market regained a sense of normality, the rise in demand for landlords permitting pet occupants in their rental properties increased.
Rightmove has revealed a number of search inquiries receiving boosts based on the pandemic, with data revealing that the demand for pet-friendly properties compared to last summer have risen the most.
The searches for homes with more outdoor space have seen a 70 per cent increase in demand for properties with balconies, whilst properties with gardens have seen a 39 per cent rise.
Other searches increasing in popularity include allocated or available parking options – which has risen by 48 per cent – as well as all bills included in developments and HMO (house of multiple occupation) properties (up by 38 per cent).
Demand for pet-friendly pet properties, however, has increased by a staggering 120 per cent.
Rightmove’s director of property data, Tim Bannister, says: “The rise in pet ownership during the lockdown periods has been well documented, and we’re seeing this translate to the rental market.
“Becoming a pet owner is a long-term commitment, so what’s really interesting to consider is the impact this could have on the rental market in the future, and it’s a signal to landlords that if they were to consider allowing a well-behaved pet then it may open them up to a bigger pool of potential tenants.”
The news of growing pet demand comes as various Conservative and Labour cross-bench peers recently spoke in a House of Lords debate on the subject of pets being permitted to stay with private tenants by their landlords.
Propertymark Policy and Campaigns Manager, Timothy Douglas, commented on the debate: “We recognise that renting with pets can make properties more desirable, encourage tenants to rent for longer and tackle issues such as loneliness, but policymakers must recognise the effect of the government’s decision to cap Tenancy Deposits under the Tenant Fees Act. Even the best-behaved pets can have an impact on a property, therefore landlords and letting agents need to be able to safeguard against damage.
“A number of ideas including raising the deposit, pet referencing, and insurance were raised by Parliamentarians and if the government are serious about encouraging more private landlords to allow responsible tenants to keep pets in their rented properties, then they must have a greater understanding of the costs involved and implement rules that support the sector to take on greater risk.”
Many landlords are opposed to the idea of allowing pets as tenants due to a number of reasons, including previous bad experiences, or potential heightened cleaning costs during a move-out.
There are, however, a number of ways to address the concerns you may have regarding letting your property to tenants with pet companions. For more information, give our Property Management team a call on 0161 820 6638.