Tenants are increasingly demanding pet friendly properties after pet ownership rose during the pandemic, as people looked for companions during successive lockdowns.
Rightmove research shows that demand for pet friendly rental properties in July shot up by 120% compared to last summer, suggesting that landlords are shooting themselves in the foot unless they are open to having tenants with pets.
Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said: “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.”
Looking at the top 10 search terms that prospective tenants use when they’re filtering properties using Rightmove’s keyword sort tool, terms related to pets are consistently ranked as the most popular.
Katinka Hill, regional lettings director at London estate agency Chestertons, said: “About half of the phone calls our offices are receiving now are from tenants who own a pet and are in need of a suitable property.
“It’s a sharp increase compared to the number we were getting pre-lockdown but this is not surprising as so many people have bought pets during the pandemic.”
Data from People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals found that 51% of adults in the UK now own a pet, of which 26% are dog owners and 24% are cat owners.
A Chestertons survey also revealed that half (51%) of tenants would be more interested in a property if the landlord allowed pets.
Owing to the search for outdoor space during the pandemic tenants are now more interested in balconies (+70%) and Gardens (+39%) than they were.