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How to Find Dog-Friendly Housing in London

Published on: September 13, 2022  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

dog in grass in LondonIf you're moving to London and taking your beloved pooch with you, you're probably wondering where you'll live and how to find dog-friendly housing in London.

No matter where you move, domestically or internationally, it’s harder to arrange housing from afar. And moving to London means getting used to different rental customs and expectations, not to mention terminology. Add your dog into the mix, and you have your work cut out for you.

The market for dog-friendly flats is in high demand

An article in the Independent said it all with the headline: Demand for Dog-Friendly Flats in London Soars. The article noted pet ownership was extremely rare in London in the early 2000s, but by 2013, 10% of Londoners owned a dog. And as of October 2015, that percentage was up to 30%. You can begin to see the problem.

Londoners have figured out what dog lovers elsewhere have always known – dogs are, indeed, human's best friends. But landlords have not universally embraced dogs as tenants. The Independent article reports that dog-friendly rentals are now commanding premium rents and significantly higher deposits. Fees for professional cleaning upon move-out are becoming more common, too.

One lettings specialist (rental agent) said, “These tenants want luxury pads situated close to Hyde Park or The Regent’s Park, where they can regularly take their pets for walks.” Possibly, but you will probably have to be more flexible.

Start your search for dog-friendly housing early

These resources can help:

  • Talk to other ex-pats already in place or locals who work for your company in or near London. They can steer you toward appropriate neighborhoods, tell you about dog play areas, and recommend the best pet supply stores and a skilled, caring veterinarian.
  • Ask your pet transport company if their London-based staff has recommendations.
  • Check online ex-pat groups and local forums to get advice. Lets for Pets or PetsLets recommends several pet-friendly sources to look for rentals.
  • Look for online classifieds, such as these listings on co.uk or these on Trovit. There are other sites as well.
  • Talk to a real estate agent (again, you can get contact recommendations from those in the know).

Check out the Dog Forum. Aside from listings of rentals, the website offers a wide variety of information you can use while planning your move and after you arrive such as:

  • Pet-friendly accommodations
  • Pet-friendly restaurants & pubs
  • Dog-friendly attractions
  • Pet shops, pet products, dog trainers, dog walkers, groomers & vets

Market your dog

Outsmart the competition for dog-friendly housing by offering proof of your pup’s excellence as a tenant. Every pet owner claims their dog is a model four-legged citizen. But landlords are skeptical in London, just as many are in the US. How can you overcome their concerns?

  • Create a CV for your dog. Describe your dog’s vital statistics, training, and personality. Include information about her health, especially the fact that they are current on all vaccinations, flea treatments, and so on. Talk about how they behave, indoors and outside. No landlord wants a renter whose dog becomes the scourge of the block. Barking, digging and other less ideal behaviors reflect on the property owner as well as the pet owner. Since you can’t introduce them in person, include a photo – showing them looking irresistibly winsome, of course.
  • Get a letter of recommendation from your current and/or past landlords. There’s nothing like independent verification to back up your word that your dog is the perfect tenant and neighbor.

Don't wait until the last minute

The last thing you want as your move draws near is to wonder exactly where you’ll be living. So pull out all the stops. Get help from every possible source in your search for dog-friendly housing in London.

Make your dog's international travel plans well in advance, too. Your dog will have to meet stringent pet import requirements to enter the UK, and obtaining all the necessary documentation is a complex, time-consuming process. Plan their move carefully, too. Make sure they have their own bedding, toys, and food as soon as they arrive. If their new home seems at least a little familiar, they will be calmer and less likely to act up in some embarrassing way. New Call-to-action

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.