A survey of 1,000 adults currently renting private properties in the UK revealed that almost one in three own a pet within the property, even though the rental agreement states “no pets.”
The top-owned animals secretly kept in private rental properties included dogs (41.4%), cats (32.5%), rabbits (9.2%), and indoor birds (3.7%).
Only 6% of the People Surveyed were Caught by Their Landlords
The Household Pets study found that of the 295 of the surveyed renters owning pets without their landlords’ permission, only 18 of them had been caught out in previous rentals.
They were either caught due to landlord inspections (27.8%), posting on social media (50%), or neighbours tattling on them to the landlord (22.2%).
Some people who were found out by their landlords received Section 8 notices, which landlords use when they have a legal reason to end the tenancy, such as breaking the contract.
Unfortunately, one person had to give their pet up to an animal rescue centre after their landlord found out, as they could not find different accommodation at the time.
This individual stated that the grief of giving up their pet was “far worse” than the guilt and stress of lying to their landlord.
The Law is Changing to Support Responsible Pet Owners in Private Rental Properties
The study carried out by Household Pets comes just weeks after the Renters’ Reform Bill was brought before Parliament on the 17th of May 2023, which will “ensure landlords do not unreasonably withhold consent when a tenant requests to have a pet in their home…”
However, under this new law, landlords may request insurance to cover pet damage, and tenants will be solely responsible for preventing and resolving damage caused by their pets.
Very Few Private Rental Properties are Listed as “Pets Considered”
Although figures estimate that 17,484,000 households own a pet in the UK, Zoopla has previously reported that an average of only 7% of available rental properties are listed as “pets considered.”
The lack of private rentals available for pet owners could be considered unsurprising to some, as 85.3% of landlords and agents have incurred damage to their property by pets, as revealed by Property Mark.