Ask most people if renting with a dog in London is difficult or easy and most people will say difficult or as we heard, often impossible – although there are some lucky exceptions. This is at a time when Generation Rent is a real phenomena and renting is on the rise – in fact, it’s predicted that by 2025, an astounding 60% of Londoners will be renting. So we’ll uncover all you need to know to find the pawfect place to live in our latest guide to renting with a dog in London.
Renters are also getting older and therefore more likely to want to be a dog or pet owner. According to flat-sharing website Spareroom, almost one in ten flat sharers who use the website are now over 45 years old, making the average user age of the site nearly 29 years old.
Dogs truly are (wo)man’s best friend and it’s no secret that the UK is a nation of dog owners. According to Statista data, there are 51 million pet owners in the UK, and 26 per cent of them own a dog. So the fact more people are renting for longer and that it is so difficult to rent in London with a dog, is both simultaneously shocking and in some of the cases we heard about even heartbreaking.
We asked London dog owners about their experiences, and heard from over 200 people of which 86% told us how hard it was to rent a flat versus the (lucky) 14% who had fortunately not had the same problems.
The Ultimate Guide to Renting With a Dog In London
We heard that there is a desperate need for more useful information to be available for people searching for a dog-friendly place to live, so we’ve put together the ultimate guide to renting with a dog in London. And we may be a dog blog but we do love our fellow four-legged friends the cats, so they get a mention too.
Renting With a Dog In London | What Do Dog Owners Have To Do?
If you’ve had to search for a pet-friendly place to live in London, you’ve probably come across the Lets With Pets initiative from Dogs Trust. There is some useful advice on the site such as how to prepare a CV for your dog and to get references for them to demonstrate they are well behaved.
Some Estate Agents who support pet-friendly rentals have also signed up to Lets With Pets but the site doesn’t go as far as letting you search for actual available properties which is a real shame. That’s probably why the feedback we received from talking to people was that Lets With Pets is a good start but it doesn’t go nearly far enough in addressing the problem and therefore, is limited in its practical use. The best takeaways from the site we saw were definitely the pet resumes and references as well as knowing which agents to start your search with.
For our four-legged friends the cats, Cats Protection has a similar scheme in place called ‘Purrfect Landlords’ and are currently investing significantly in promoting renting with cats to both Landlords and Tenants.
We also heard from many people who said it takes a long time to find a pet-friendly property and when they do it’s often not what they had expected or are asked to pay (significant) extra deposits.
Whilst an extra deposit is understandable for a reasonable amount, we heard some stories of people being asked to pay extortionate amounts. This fits with an article on Prime Location where deposits for pet-friendly properties were often a whopping two-thirds more than the deposit for the same property, for tenants without pets.
Since publishing this guide, Petslets.com, a pet-friendly property portal focused on London conducted a survey amongst property and pet professionals to discover the top reason Landlords are reluctant to let to people with pets – read the results here.
Renting With a Dog In London | Dog-friendly Developments Are A ‘Dog’-send
Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. Fortunately, some ‘Build to Rent’ developments have realised that making their apartments dog-friendly makes a lot of sense. For a start, tenants with pets stay longer as they often don’t want to put themselves through the hassle of finding another pet-friendly place to live nor their pet through the upheaval. That alone makes good business sense from a landlords perspective. Never mind the fact that life is simply better with pets around (we may be biased on that one) and something we heard time and time again was the sense of community it fosters between residents.
So far we have uncovered several dog-friendly (and pet-friendly in general as long as we’re not talking your mini pet pig) developments in London. We have no doubt that more will spring up and we’ll update this guide when they do. Here’s who they are and what they offer…
Renting With a Dog In London | Fizzy Living
As you may have read in our feature last month ‘How Renting a Flat With a Dog in London is Easy with Fizzy Living‘, all seven of the Fizzy Living developments (Lewisham, Hayes, Canning Town, Stepney Green, Walthamstow, Poplar and Epsom) are pet and dog-friendly with a staggering 40% of Fizzy residents being pet owners. Although this is not surprising seeing as Fizzy go out of their way to welcome pets making it a key focal point of their marketing efforts.
There are no size restrictions for dogs at Fizzy but Fizzy will ensure that residents with larger breeds move into larger flats with a balcony so there is enough space. In terms of pet perks, the list is long. Fizzy has led the way with their ‘Pet Stations’ stocking treats, pamper essentials, poop bags and plenty more and these are a huge hit at each of the developments. The communal gardens have become a thriving community hub for dogs and owners to get to know each other too.
They are also leading the way with doggy socials such as Yappy Hour or events like dog yoga that was held on the rooftop of their Lewisham development in the summer. There is a reasonable monthly ‘pet rent’ charge of £50 per month for dogs and £25 per month for cats to be residents at Fizzy.
Fizzy staff are real pet lovers and some even say that checking in on their four-legged residents is the best part of their day. There is a strong sense of community at the Fizzy properties and Fizzy are also planning an app in the near future to make it even easier for people to connect and strengthen the Fizzy pet loving community even more.
Renting With a Dog In London | Quintain Living
Quintain Living (formerly known as Tipi) in Wembley Park has a selected number of pet-friendly homes available at the Landsby buildings, an initiative put in place in response to resident demand. Every apartment has a balcony or terrace overlooking either the iconic Wembley Stadium arch or the beautiful, sedate Elvin Gardens as well as shared spaces including two roof terraces and two podium gardens. Future Quintain Living homes, such as Canada Gardens will also be pet-friendly and have access to a 2.5 acre dog friendly podium residents garden.
There is a flat fee of £50 per month per pet for each apartment and up to medium-sized doggy residents (23kg ) are welcome with the nature and temperament of the dog taken into account. In fact Quintain Living’s resident canine Frankie the Cavapoo, takes his job very seriously and conducts ‘interviews’ with prospective pup residents to ensure they are well-behaved.
Quintain Living also told us that “there are a number of events or “doggy socials” planned for two and four-legged residents with future initiatives such as welcome hampers, dog beds and other events under consideration”.
Renting With a Dog In London | Rathbone East
Rathbone East close to Canning Town and North Greenwich is dog friendly (and generally pet friendly with several cat and rabbit residents too).
To have a pet at Rathbone East, you would pay a one-off application of £50 and an additional 2 week deposit on top of the standard 4 week deposit. With regards to sizes of dogs that are welcomed, this is assessed on a case by case basis. The Rathbone East team told us that “we are all dog lovers in the office and if there was a dog that was too big for the apartment that the residents wanted to rent – we would discuss this with the residents to make sure they had day-care or dog walkers in place so the dog was not home all the time.”
A doggy perk of living at Rathbone East is that all four-legged residents get a welcome pack with essential goodies when they move in. The pack includes suggested local pet services at discounted prices, treats and accessories as well as tips for keeping pets happy inside.
There is also an app for Rathbone East residents where tenants who have pets can order useful services such as a dog walking. Rathbone East also use it to share things that are happening which might be suitable for tenants who have pets (and we know that London has plenty of things happening for dogs, just check out our London Dog Events Calendar to be in the know).
Rathbone East told us “we are very pet friendly and the courtyard which all tenants share, is often filled with dogs and has a sense of community with both tenants and pets alike. We have everything from rabbits, medium dogs (Chow Chows, Labradors) to smaller dogs like Pugs. Our pets are a huge hit and some of the tenants have partnered up, so when someone is away, the other tenant will look after the pet. This has proved rather useful and has created a little community of its own”.
Rathbone East are excited about expanding their pet-friendly offering in the future and are planning to install their own pet station where tenants can pamper their pets, get poop bags, treats and more.
Renting With a Dog In London | Essential Living
All four of the Essential Living properties are dog-friendly: Berkshire House (Maidenhead), Dressage Court (Bethnal Green), Vantage Point (Archway) and Union Wharf (Greenwich).
For doggy perks, Essential Living run doggy photography competitions where the human winner wins a £20 amazon voucher and the hound winner wins a Lily’s Kitchen hamper of treats. Essential Living staff will also check in on your pet and top up food or water if needed if you’re out longer than planned for example.
Essential Living pet residents are given a ‘licence’ for which their human has to pay a £90 fee and will also need to pay an additional weeks’ rent deposit. Pets up to 25kg are welcomed but there are certain breeds of dog (and species) of other pets that are only accepted at the discretion of the landlord after having had a successful ‘Pet Interview’.
Renting With a Dog In London | L&Q (London and Quadrant)
L&Q (London and Quadrant) is one of the UK’s leading non-profit housing associations and residential developers with a number of properties for rent across London and the South East. L&Q have a straightforward policy when it comes to pets, in that if the property you rent has access to it’s own garden you are free to have your dog / pet without asking permission. If the property doesn’t have it’s own garden, you just need to get permission from L&Q.
Renting With a Dog In London | Other Developments
We’ve also heard good four-legged feedback from people and their pups who live in Royal Wharf in Newham, Imperial Wharf in Fulham, Riverlight Quay in Nine Elms, Hendon Waterside in Brentford as well as new-build developments along the Southbank.
Renting With a Dog In London | The Best Apps and Websites To Find A Dog-friendly Apartment
If you’re looking for a dog-friendly apartment, you’ll probably be starting your search online. So our guide to renting with a dog in London wouldn’t be complete without a round-up of the best sites and apps to help you with your search. In case you’re wondering where some of the big site names are, we’ve only included ones that are actually useful and have some way to find pet-friendly properties…
- Movebubble: Available on desktop and mobile, although we only found the ‘Accept Pets’ option on the app. Movebubble got in touch to tell us how they recognise the importance of making it easy to find dog-friendly places to live. So much so, they have recently updated their mobile app to include a pet-friendly filter making it super easy. As mentioned, we couldn’t find the same filter on the desktop version of the site but love the app and how easy it is to use.
- Petslets.com: Petslets.com offer either a bespoke Relocation Service for people moving to London with their pet or a Viewing Service where anyone can email up to 4 pet-friendly property links they have come across on a portal such as Rightmove, Zoopla etc. Then, Petslets.com will make sure the property will accept the person’s pet(s), view on their behalf and report back within 24 hours. Petslets.com can also offer advice on the property, tips to negotiate and guidance on the contract if needed.
- Spareroom: Available on desktop and mobile app and on both options there is a ‘Pets Considered or Suitable for Pet Owners’ checkbox in the search filters. Spareroom are also on a mission to make pet-friendly rentals the norm and have recently published some research on this. Spareroom have also started a ‘paw-litical’ Think Tank run by pets and their owners to challenge landlords to think differently about letting to pets, and encourage more animal-friendly rentals in the UK. Read the Think Tank report here.
- Openrent: Available on desktop and mobile. Although not an app, the mobile optimised version of the site lets you do anything you can do on the desktop version, on mobile. One of the early adopters of a ‘pets accepted’ filter on the site. Just use the ‘Accept Pets’ checkbox on the advanced filters in your search.
- FindProperly: Available on desktop only. There is a ‘Pets Allowed’ checkbox under ‘Features’ which is only available once you reach your search results.
- Trovit: Available on desktop and mobile. No filters but you can search on the area + pet-friendly. It’s best to avoid the search term ‘pets allowed’ as this returns listings that have ‘no pets allowed’ in them also!
- Zoopla: Available on desktop and mobile. There isn’t a filter but you can type ‘pet-friendly’ or similar into the keyword section under ‘Advanced Search’ to return results.
Renting With a Dog In London | Finding A Dog-friendly Apartment Through Estate Agents
Estate agents will definitely form part of your search at some point, so here are some of the more helpful ones when it comes to renting with a dog in London.
Well known estate agent Foxtons regularly speak out on the topic of why landlords should accept pets and their recent “How London Lives Report’ revealed some eye-opening statistics on how a third of London dog owners are putting finding a pet-friendly home before their child’s school when looking for somewhere to live in London.
London Link Properties based in Canary Wharf, specialise in assisting and advising tenants and landlords regarding dog-friendly accommodation. They even have a four-legged lettings agent as part of the team, Charley Pooh who is head of the pet-friendly accommodation department (as listed under Meet the Team on their website). London Link also organise several local London dog events such as the annual Canary Woof Dog Show.
Many of the London estate agents who have signed up for the Lets With Pets scheme have a dedicated section on their website about renting with pets (so it’s worth getting in touch with them to see how they can help) or have made it easier to search their properties. Here’s how…
- Chestertons: There is a dedicated page on the website and a ‘Pets Considered’ checkbox in the search results filter.
- Outlet4Property: As well as a page on their website, there is also a ‘Lets with Pets’ filter when you search.
- Chancellors: Also have a page on their website and a ‘Lets with Pets’ filter when you search.
- Knight Frank: Have a page on their website about renting with pets so worth contacting them.
- Mount Grange Heritage: Likewise, Mount Grange Heritage who specialise in the Kensington area also have a pet-friendly renting page on their website.
We hope you found our guide to renting with a dog in London useful. Although it may not be easy to find a place to live with your four-legged best friend in London, there are options available and paws crossed, these will continue to grow.
What’s clear is you need to allow more time for your search and be prepared to produce extras such as pet CV’s, references and a (reasonable) extra deposit or monthly pet fee.
If I happened to be house-hunting and one of the fabulous new dog-friendly build to rent developments fit my criteria in terms of budget and location, then that’s definitely the easiest (and most dog-friendly) way to go in our opinion.