A young renter has told LandlordZONE how offering to take pet damage insurance helped convince a landlord to accept her two dogs, after receiving countless rejections.
Catriona Clarke (pictured) and her partner were beginning to despair of ever finding a pet-friendly home in Cambridge as letting agents told them before each potential viewing that their animals weren’t welcome.
“It was so dispiriting and humiliating to be told ‘no’ all the time,” she tells LandlordZONE. “Our dogs Izzy and Leo are small and well-behaved, and Izzy is Leo’s support dog, who’s blind.”
They finally viewed the perfect house where a landlord had said that pets were acceptable, only to narrowly miss out to another applicanmt – and pet-free – couple.
The agent admitted that dogs had been the deal-breaker and Catriona’s despairing Tweet got a response from AdvoCATS charity boss Jen Berezai, who suggested they create a dog CV with photos and take out the pet damage insurance.
After the other couple didn’t pay the holding deposit, the landlord agreed to offer Catriona the property instead.
“I’m sure doing that helped us,” she adds, “but children would probably cause more damage than most pets.”
A recent NRLA/Battersea Dogs & Cats Home poll found 60% of landlords are concerned about damage but that 42% would be most likely to change their minds about allowing pets if a tenant offered to get their own insurance.
A change to the current capped deposit legislation and demonstrating responsible pet ownership would also help convince 33% and 31% respectively.
Berezai says the survey shows many landlords would be more willing to allow pets provided there was some protection from potential pet damage.
“By amending the Tenant Fees Act to allow a landlord to stipulate pet damage insurance must be held or request a separate, financially capped pet deposit, many, many more rented homes will open up to pets – which benefits both landlords and tenants,” she says.
The AdvoCATS charity has signed up 42 MPs who support its Heads for Tails! Report calling on the government to amend the Act and hopes the proposal will be included in the upcoming Renters Reform Bill.