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Finding Pet-Friendly Housing in the UK

Published on: February 14, 2024  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Laying on Blanket

Finding pet-friendly housing in the United Kingdom can be a daunting task, but fear not, because we're here to help! As a pet owner, you know how important it is to find a home that welcomes your furry friend with open arms. From spacious gardens to pet-friendly landlords, we'll guide you through the process of securing a place where both you and your beloved pet can feel right at home. Whether you're searching for a cozy apartment in the heart of London or a charming cottage in the countryside, we've got you covered. So grab a cuppa, sit back, and let us show you how to navigate the world of pet-friendly housing in the UK.

Plan ahead

Finding pet-friendly housing in the UK can be a challenging endeavor due to the competitive nature of the rental market. To ensure a successful search, it is recommended to allot yourself a minimum of two months. However, if you are unfamiliar with the areas you are relocating to, it is advisable to allow at least three months for thorough research and exploration. By giving yourself ample time, you can navigate the UK property rental market with confidence and secure a home that is perfect for both you and your furry friend.

Be prepared

Pets Lets has an extensive network of professionals who can assist you with various aspects of your relocation. Whether you need help with visas, finding a school for your children, exchanging currency, or locating pet-friendly short-term accommodations, Pets Lets can connect you with trusted experts in these fields. Rest assured that if Russell doesn't have the information you need, he will be able to refer you to someone who does.

Have the right documentation

It is essential to showcase your responsibility as a tenant in the UK rental market by demonstrating your ability to meet rent payments. Additionally, it's important to show that your pets won't cause any damage to the property and won't disturb the neighbors with late-night barking. To ensure a smooth rental process, it's advisable to have the following documents prepared in advance, if possible.

  • Employer reference
  • Landlord Reference
  • Pet CV
  • Vet or doggy day care reference
  • Proof of funds
  • UK Guarantor set up (if possible)

Consider the different types of UK Properties & locations

Think about your preferences when it comes to the type of property you desire. Are you drawn to modern new builds and high-rise apartments, or do you prefer the charm of a traditional English Victorian-style home? Additionally, think about the ideal location for your new home, taking into account factors such as your commute to work and proximity to friends and family.

Have a budget

Having a clear understanding of your budget is crucial as it will determine the areas and properties you should be focusing on. Without this knowledge, it can be challenging to narrow down your search and find the perfect home for you and your pet.

Keep in mind local differences

When searching for properties in the UK, it's important to keep in mind that they may differ from what you're used to in the US or other parts of the world. One interesting distinction is the presence of under-the-counter tiny fridge/freezers, which could be a deal-breaker for some clients who love everything about a flat except for the small fridge/freezer. Additionally, Victorian properties often have narrow corridors, which may not appeal to everyone. It's also worth noting that some properties can be on the darker side. Lastly, the distance from shops and transportation should be considered, as being far from these amenities can be a significant adjustment.

Be prepared for issues with US funds transfers

Once you have agreed on a property, you will need to pay a 1 week holding deposit, which effectively takes the property off the market and prevents others from making counter-offers. However, there is a potential issue with transferring funds from the US to the UK, as this process takes time and could risk someone else swooping in with a counter-offer. While some estate agents may accept a bank screenshot as proof of funds, others may require cleared funds in their account. If you have a UK bank account, it's advisable to have some funds readily available for a quick transfer. Alternatively, Pets Lets can assist with the transfer to ensure the property is secured promptly. Another option is to have a local friend or family member make the payment on your behalf.

Be flexible

Maintain flexibility when it comes to your moving dates. It's important to be open to the possibility of taking possession of a property a week or two earlier than expected. Additionally, when it comes to finding a home that accommodates your pets, consider the benefits of opting for an unfurnished property, as it may be easier to negotiate pet-friendly terms. Similarly, be open to exploring different locations based on the advice provided by professionals. Many have been pleasantly surprised by their newfound love for a location they weren't initially considering.

Don't fret over reference checks

Don't worry if you don't pass a reference check. Some reference companies have a rigid approach and only consider income in pound sterling, disregarding other currencies. However, there are strategies to overcome this obstacle.

Make a tenancy agreement

It's always important to have everything in writing when it comes to renting a property. This includes any additional requests or agreements you may have, such as the property being professionally cleaned before you move in or any necessary repairs like painting walls or removing items. Don't assume anything - make sure to put it all in writing as part of your offer to ensure clarity and avoid any misunderstandings.

Include a pet clause

Ensure that your tenancy agreement includes a specific mention of your beloved pets, including their names and breeds. This is crucial, as without this provision, you may not have any legal recourse if the landlord decides to deny your pets.

Work with a professional

Pets Lets is your go-to broker for finding pet-friendly properties in the UK. They provide a customized service to cater to your specific needs. And here's some exciting news for Starwood Pet Travel clients - you can enjoy a £500 discount on the Pets Lets Relocation Service. Just mention that you're working with Starwood when you sign up. Let us take care of your pet travel needs and Pets Lets can handle your pet-friendly housing needs to make your relocation process a breeze.

The property system in the UK can be described as unique and somewhat antiquated, which may lead to confusion for individuals navigating the rental market. If you're looking for advice or guidance from experienced pet owners or the experts at Pets Lets who have firsthand experience with this system, join the Relocating To The UK With Pets Facebook group. Here, you can benefit from the insights and knowledge of those who have "been there and done that.

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Starwood and Russell Hunt, the founder of Pets Lets and a pet-friendly UK property broker. With over 25 years of experience in the London property market, Russell is not only an expert in his field but also a fellow dog owner, sharing his life with a lovable beagle/basset hound mix. Together, we are dedicated to helping you find the perfect pet-friendly housing in the United Kingdom.

*Photo by Izabelly Marques on Unsplash

Starwood Animal Transport has rebranded to Starwood Pet Travel. We are still the same great company with the best team, just now with a slightly different name.