The number of people renting in London has steadily increased for the last twenty years with a dramatic surge in recent years. Dubbed Generation Rent, affordability issues are at the heart of why so many Brits across all ages and demographics are searching for a rented home rather than their own.
In London, there are now more private renters then there are mortgaged home owners. A report conducted by PwC back in 2016 projected that by 2025 more than 60% of Londoners will be renting.
This continual shift towards rental accommodation poses numerous challenges but particularly for those of us with furry family members. Britain are clearly pet lovers – RSPCA states that 44% of UK households have a pet and a whopping 26% of UK households have a canine family member.
Yet finding a rental home that accommodates man’s best friend is no easy feat. Ask the majority of pet owners what their experiences of renting in London has been and the response will undoubtedly be… bloody hard!
Landlords can be reluctant to rent to tenants with pets as they are concerned about the heightened risk of damage to the property. There are avenues in which pet owners can skirt around these hurdles, but it usually comes at a cost, either higher deposit or higher rent.
The tenant fee ban which was recently introduced, limits the deposit to five weeks rent. Prior to this tenants would usually pay between 4 – 6 weeks rent. If you had a pet that would rise to eight weeks rent.
A by-product of the tenant fee ban capping the deposit at five weeks is that this may put further strain on us pet lovers who still rent. Landlords don’t feel they are compensated for the risk of having a pet live in their property and as long as demand remains high can choose not to rent to pet owners.
Culturally pets play an increasing role in our lives. Pubs, restaurants and shops throughout Britain have identified this shift and made the appropriate adjustments to accommodate our canine companions.
Developers, whilst late to the party have also identified the need to build pet-friendly residential developments, to cater for an increasing demand.
As demand continues to increase for rented accommodation, developers have identified the need to improve the tenant experience, thus promoting longer tenancies and minimising any vacancy periods.
A large part of this is identifying shifting tenant requirements and pet ownership, particularly in the millennial demographic is soaring. Flexible contracts, gyms, communal spaces and pet-friendly developments are now huge selling points.
Sailmakers a 327 apartment BTR scheme in Canary Wharf is offering pet friendly accommodation as a “lifestyle experience.”
Major BTR developer Essential Living first introduced pets into their Vantage Point development in 2017 by setting aside one floor for pet owners. But due to incredible demand they immediately had to open four additional floors to pet owners.
Meanwhile large scale developer Tipi’s Wembley Park site has whole buildings set aside for pet owners, although it comes at a cost, where an additional £50pm is charged to live with your pet.
But does it still cost more for pet owners to rent?
Rents in build-to-rent developments on average, are 11% higher than comparable properties rented through a private landlord. However like Sailmakers they are marketed as lifestyle choices so you are not just paying for the privilege of renting with your beloved pet. Tenants enjoy a plethora of amenities including gyms, cinemas, concierge service and classes and networking events.
Renting with your furry friend, whilst still a challenge has been made easier in particular through developer’s recognising the growing demand and factoring pet-friendly environments into their plans before building.